Berlin [Germany], Mar 19 (Sputnik/ANI): Germany faces a challenge not seen since World War II and is in need of the population acting in solidarity, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an unprecedented televised address as the number of coronavirus infection cases in the country shot past 10,000.
"Since German unification, no, since World War II, there has been no greater challenge to our country that depends so much on us acting together in solidarity," Merkel said, according to a text released ahead of the transmission of her speech.
In a first such national address to the entire country in her 15 years in office, Merkel appealed for understanding of the strict measures imposed by the federal and local governments.
Merkel also called on the citizens not to panic-buy as the supply of goods will remain intact across the European bloc.
Germany, Europe's largest population and economy, has yet to go into lockdown like Italy or Spain despite having the third highest count of coronavirus cases. Schools, public places, restaurants and most businesses have been forced to shut in tandem with most nations precautionary measures.
The World Health Organization last week declared Europe as the epicentre of the pandemic as cases worldwide exceeded those in China, where the virus originated. (Sputnik/ANI)