Merkel Returns to Work Virus-Free After 12-Day Quarantine

2020-04-03 06:42:23

(Bloomberg) —

German Chancellor Angela Merkel returned to work on Friday, ending a 12-day self-enforced quarantine after at least three tests showed that she was free of the coronavirus.

The German leader took to her apartment in Berlin on March 22 after being informed that a doctor who had administered a precautionary immunization against bacterial pneumonia two days earlier had later tested positive.

Merkel will continue to observe social distancing standards, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin. The chancellor is conducting talks with global and German state leaders by video conference.

Merkel, 65, took center stage in Germany’s fight against the virus with a rare televised address to the nation on March 18, in which she called the crisis the country’s gravest since World War II. Her quarantine, despite a reduced public schedule confined primarily to the Chancellery, threw her ability to manage the response to the outbreak into question.

The German leader’s brush with the virus parallels that of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been working from self-isolation at home since March 12 after his wife contracted the illness.

Merkel isn’t the only European leader who has been impacted by the virus. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde isolated herself temporarily last month following exposure to an infected person. And U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been quarantined for over a week after testing positive for the virus.

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