Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has come out of home quarantine with a personal message and asked people in Germany for patience in the Corona crisis.

People are "adjusted to contact and closeness, and I'm looking forward to it again," said the CDU politician, who currently remains at home after contact with an infected doctor, in her weekend podcast released on Saturday. But one thing is clear: "No one can say today with a clear conscience that he knows how long this difficult time will last." There is still no reason to relax the rules. "I have to ask you to be patient."

The Chancellor usually publishes a video podcast at the weekend - but she did not give an insight into her apartment in Berlin - and spoke her message this time on the phone. Merkel greeted everyone, "who now combine living and home office," as she does. "Even if it is not easy for many to combine childcare and work, you can still create a lot of work from home," she said, for example via telephone and video conferencing.

She is very aware of how severe the contact restrictions are. Almost everyone had completely changed their behavior, the vast majority avoided unnecessary contacts. "Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart," said Merkel. Only together could the people steer the country through a test "like no one could have imagined". The goal must be to reduce the number of infections per day so that every infected person can get the best possible care.

Merkel again appealed to the people: "As far as possible, avoid contacts outside the circle of people with whom you live." The number of new infections currently doubles approximately every five and a half days. This period had to go towards ten days in order not to overwhelm the health system. "Anyone who follows the rules can now be a lifesaver."

But Merkel also showed understanding for the impatience of some who were worried about the economy or their jobs, and assured: "We are mobilizing what we can to give our whole country security in this uncertain time."

Merkels audio podcast