Merkel criticizes European states allowing travelers from high-risk areas

Berlin, Jun 24 (EFE).- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday chided European states that allow the entry of travelers from high-risk countries with Covid-19 variants, warning the situation remains fragile.

Merkel’s remarks came during what is likely to be her last government statement to Parliament as she plans to exit the political stage after the federal election in September.

The chancellor expressed cautious optimism due to the incidence of coronavirus infections going down across the EU and the rising number of fully vaccinated people.

However, Merkel said it was necessary to remain vigilant over the emergence of new variants, especially the highly contagious Delta strain, which was first identified in India.

Coordination within the bloc in the fight against the pandemic has improved since the beginning of the year but still needs to be strengthened, said Merkel ahead of an EU leaders’ summit scheduled for June 24-25 in Brussels.

She called on the European Union to learn the lessons of the coronavirus crisis in order to better face future challenges.

Merkel also reiterated her opposition to suspending patent protection for Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers, saying such a step would accelerate production in the present but would weigh down on the spirit of innovation in the future.

The 66-year-old chancellor commended the EU’s solidarity and capacity to act in response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. EFE


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