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Merkel's Potential Successor Friedrich Merz Tests Positive for Covid-19

© AP Photo / Michael SohnFriedrich Merz, right, member of the German Christian Democratic Party
Friedrich Merz, right, member of the German Christian Democratic Party - Sputnik International
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Friedrich Merz is one of the potential candidates to succeed Angela Merkel as the next leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and could be the country's next Chancellor.

German Chancellor Merkel's potential successor, Friedrich Merz, has confirmed that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus infection. 

"The test that was carried out on Sunday is positive. I will be in quarantine at home until the end of next week," Merz told dpa on Tuesday.  

Earlier, the CDU postponed a conference that was planned for 25 April to choose a new leader after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said last month she won't run for the post.    

Merz already served as the leader of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag. In 2018, he lost the election by a small margin to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

© AFP 2021 / SEBASTIEN BOZONGerman policemen control motorists trying to cross the Swiss-German border on 16 March 2020, in Weil am Rhein near Basel. - Germany has reintroduced border controls with France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Denmark from March 16, 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, interior minister Horst Seehofer said the day before.
Merkel's Potential Successor Friedrich Merz Tests Positive for Covid-19 - Sputnik International
German policemen control motorists trying to cross the Swiss-German border on 16 March 2020, in Weil am Rhein near Basel. - Germany has reintroduced border controls with France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Denmark from March 16, 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, interior minister Horst Seehofer said the day before.

Meanwhile, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's disease control authority, has raised the coronavirus risk level for the country to "high," President Lothar Wieler said Tuesday.

"We will today change the public health risk assessment. Starting today, we will consider it as 'high.' The reason is simple: you see the dynamics," he said at a press conference.

The institute reported 6,012 infection cases and 13 virus-related deaths on Monday. The number of infections rose 6.9 percent from the day before, Wieler said. He admitted that German media were reporting higher tallies but said that the institute relied on confirmed data.

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