Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was left embarrassed when her Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, refused to shake her hand at a meeting in front of journalists, amid rising coronavirus fears.
Seehofer, a perenially leading figure in the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), declined the proferred handshake at a meeting to discuss migration in Berlin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's outstretched hand was rebuffed by her interior minister at a meeting in Berlin, as the country updated the number of people infected with Covid-19 to 150 pic.twitter.com/5dbzSLlfPA
— PA Media (@PA) March 2, 2020
“That is the right thing to do,” Merkel told her minister, attempting to laugh of the situation along with the rest of the meeting’s attendees.
Lothar Wieler, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, has noted that the coronavirus is now progressing “very dynamically”, with over 150 confirmed infections — including the first in Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt, and Hamburg.
The virus is already beginning to impact the German economy, with one manufacturer having had to advise over 1,500 workers not to come in on March 2nd after one of them was confirmed infected.