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Merkel tests negative as her cabinet agrees a €750bn business bailout

  

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a media statement on the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2020.  Michel Kappeler/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a media statement on the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2020. Michel Kappeler/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

via REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a media statement on the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, March 22, 2020. Michel Kappeler/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Angela Merkel has tested negative for coronavirus after going into self-isolation on Sunday evening over fears she could have contracted the disease.

"The result of today's test was negative," said Steffen Seibert, Ms Merkel's spokesman.

He said she was "doing well" at her home in Berlin and "was delighted at the huge number of people who had wished her well and wanted to thank them all".

Ms Merkel (65) continued working despite being in self-isolation. Yesterday, she chaired a meeting of the German cabinet via video link while the rest of its members met as usual in person at the Chancellery. Mr Seibert described the sitting as "one the likes of which we have never seen in the history of the German republic" due to the massive financial pledges agreed upon.

The cabinet agreed a €750bn rescue package for businesses and the self-employed, a package that involves demolishing Germany's cherished balanced budget by taking on €150bn in new debts.

The measures are set to be voted on at the Bundestag tomorrow in the first sitting since the coronavirus crisis began. Ms Merkel had hoped to open the debate, but will now no longer play any part.

Ms Merkel has rarely in her 15 years at the top of German politics taken more than a few days off for sickness.

In 2014, after injuring her pelvis in a skiing accident, she worked from her hospital bed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent