BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to her Australian counterpart on Tuesday about the coronavirus pandemic, her spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that establishing facts about the outbreak would help to learn lessons for the future.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has sought support for an international investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the response of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“At an appropriate time, it will be necessary to analyse every phase of the pandemic,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.
The new coronavirus, believed to have emerged in a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, was first reported by China to the WHO on Dec. 31. WHO officials arrived in Wuhan on Jan. 20, after the virus had spread to three other countries.
It has since infected some 2.3 million people globally and killed nearly 160,000, according to Reuters calculations.
“We all need to know what happened, what the results of actions were and we need transparency,” said Seibert, stressing the need to work together internationally.
“The German government does not plan any sanctions,” he added.
A spokesman for the German foreign ministry reiterated the German position that it supported the WHO and wanted it strengthened.
(Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michelle Martin)