BFF-37 Pandemic not war but ‘test of humanity’: German president

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BFF-37

HEALTH-VIRUS-GERMANY

Pandemic not war but ‘test of humanity’: German president

BERLIN, April 11, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – The struggle to quell the
coronavirus pandemic is “a test of our humanity,” German President
Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Saturday, rejecting comparisons of it to
a “war”.

The crisis caused by COVID-19 “brings out the best and the worst in
people,” Steinmeier said in a rare televised address.

“No, this pandemic is not a war. Nations are not opposed against
other nations, soldiers against other soldiers. It is a test of our
humanity,” Steinmeier said.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron had described the fight
against the virus was a “war”.

“Let’s show other people the best in us. And please show it also
throughout Europe”, the German president urged, saying that the
country would not be able to emerge healthy and strong from the
pandemic unless the rest of Europe could do the same.

“We Germans are not only called upon to show solidarity in Europe,
we are obliged to do so!” he insisted.

This year, Europe commemorates 75 years since the end of World War
II and the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

The coronavirus death toll in Germany stands at over 2,700, with
the country faring relatively well compared to some of its European
neighbours, despite not bringing strict rules to keep people confined
to their homes.

Steinmeier said the international solidarity should bring about a
global alliance to search for a COVID-19 vaccine. And that “the
poorest countries in the world, who are the most vulnerable, should
have equal access” to any such treatment.

He paid homage to the “invisible pillars” of German society, such
as the supermarket cashiers, bus and truck drivers, bakers, farmers
and garbage collectors.

BSS/AFP/MRU/2118hrs