German army on standby to help with coronavirus crisis

FILE PHOTO: Germany's CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer holds a news conference after a party board meeting in Berlin, Germany February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German military is making preparations to help with efforts to tackle the coronavirus crisis should other civil servant organisations become overwhelmed with the outbreak, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Thursday.

“We are preparing for a worst-case scenario where a very large number of people will become infected and we have the human resources to help,” she said.

Kramp-Karrenbauer said the army had already contacted hundreds of medical reservists in the armed forces and the army would be able to protect critical infrastructure and distribute medical equipment and medicines should this become necessary.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Joseph Nasr