Speaking at a Berlin coronavirus news conference along with Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn, Merkel said it was important not to overburden the health system.
She noted that every European country was affected, sending special thoughts to Italy in its fight against the virus.
Merkel said countries should focus on and support research, adding that Germany would deal with the crisis in a de-centralized manner.
German lawmakers will hold a meeting Thursday to coordinate regarding the crisis.
“We are in a situation where we don’t know many things, and what we don’t know, we have to take seriously,” Merkel said.
This is about protecting vulnerable people, she added.
Get Face Masks