Coronavirus scare: Minister rejects handshake with Chancellor as cases rise

March 2, 2020
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Germany’s interior minister rebuffed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempt to shake hands with him on Monday as the number of novel coronavirus cases in the country rose to 150 with Berlin reporting its first infection.

When Merkel reached out to greet Horst Seehofer at a meeting on migration in Berlin, he smiled and kept both his hands to himself.

They both laughed and Merkel then threw her hand up in the air before taking a seat.

Health experts have recommended avoiding handshakes as a way of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

There are now 150 confirmed cases in Germany, Lothar Weiler of the Robert Koch Institute disease control agency said on Monday morning — up from 129 the previous day.

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