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HEALTH

MAP: The parts of Germany most affected by coronavirus outbreak

As the number of confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Germany rose above above 8,600 on Monday, here's a look at the regions that are most affected.

MAP: The parts of Germany most affected by coronavirus outbreak
Photo: AFP

The total number of reported infections in Germany grew to 8,625 cases on Tuesday at 6 pm, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Robert Koch Institute, an increase of 2,000 from Monday morning. 

Over 3,375 of the cases (up almost 1,000 from a day earlier) in Germany are in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state where an infected couple attended carnival celebrations.
 
Out of the all of the confirmed cases since January, there have been a total of 46 recoveries. There have also been 23 deaths in Germany due to the coronavirus.

The map below gives an idea of which German regions are most affected.

We will aim to update the figures in this map as often as possible. You can also read the latest coverage about coronavirus in Germany here.

As of Tuesday at 5 pm, the figures for the number of coronavirus cases per state were:

Baden-Württemberg: 1,105

Bavaria (Bayern): 1,352

Berlin: 332

Brandenburg: 104

Bremen: 66

Hamburg: 312

Hesse (Hessen): 342

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern): 69

Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) : 563

North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen): 3,375

Rhineland-Palatinate (Rhineland-Pfalz): 435

Saarland: 101

Saxony: 152

Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt): 105

Schleswig-Holstein: 145

Thuringia (Thüringen): 64

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And how does Germany compare to the rest of Europe?
 

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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point. 

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