German parliament plans extra 1 billion euros to combat coronavirus

The German parliament is set to approve up to 1 billion euros (1.1 billion dollars) in additional funds to combat the coronavirus, the head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc said on Tuesday.

“We will provide additional budgetary resources of up to 1 billion euros,” Christian Democrat (CDU) Ralph Brinkhaus said ahead of a meeting of his parliamentary caucus in Berlin.

The funds are intended to support research, among other things.

“The health minister, [and] the health authorities will get all the resources they need to tackle the coronavirus crisis,” Brinkhaus said.

While still behind crisis-hit Italy, Germany is one of the countries worst affected by the outbreak in Europe, with over 1,100 confirmed cases and two deaths so far.

Health Minister Jens Spahn has urged citizens to travel less and avoid gatherings of 1,000 people or more in a bid to slow the rate of infection in the country.

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