A poll has claimed that just one in five Germans are confident that Angela Merkel’s government can handle a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.
The survey, which was conducted by polling firm INSA for German tabloid Bild, showed that close to half (44 per cent) of the German public said they do not trust Merkel’s government to have made all the necessary preparations for an outbreak.
While confidence in the government’s preparedness is higher among men than women, only 23 per cent of men trust in the ability of the government.
Trust is also higher (21 per cent) in the west of the country than in the east (16 per cent), where the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is a fierce opponent of the Merkel government, enjoys widespread support.
To prepare for an outbreak of the virus — such as the outbreak in Italy, which currently has over 3,000 cases — the German Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Health, and other federal departments have set up a crisis team dedicated to the coronavirus threat.
WATCH: Merkel Refused Handshake Amid Coronavirus Fears https://t.co/oHtq9XlL8D
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 3, 2020
Chancellor Merkel herself has been relatively silent on the coronavirus threat within Germany, only releasing a statement on the issues last Friday when she called for “measure and balance” to be applied to the issue.
Germany has seen far fewer confirmed infections compared to Italy but still has 262 cases, according to figures from the government’s Robert Koch Institut as of Wednesday afternoon.
The highest number of cases in Germany have occurred in North Rhine-Westphalia, followed by Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.
Italy, which has been hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, has taken drastic measures to reduce the spread of the virus this week, including banning fans from sporting events until April 3rd and closing all schools across the country until March 15th.
Populist Italian Senator Matteo Salvini has been deeply critical of the government’s response and even offered to form a national unity government to help combat the virus but the leftist coalition rejected the proposal.