Germany sees more than 900 new coronavirus cases in a day

The number of Covid-19 cases is rising in Germany, with 902 cases confirmed in just one day.

Germany sees more than 900 new coronavirus cases in a day
A discarded face mask in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the increase on Thursday – the highest number of daily cases since May 15th. The day before the number of new infections stood at 684.

The rising numbers are fuelling worries about a second coronavirus wave.

READ ALSO: New coronavirus outbreak after baby shower in northeast Germany

According to the latest figures from RKI, a total of 207,828 people in Germany are confirmed to have contracted the Sars-CoV-2 virus since the start of the pandemic, reported German daily Welt.

A total of 9,134 people have died, with six new deaths in Germany compared to the previous day.

According to RKI estimates, the reproduction number, or R-value for short, was 1.14 in Germany (on the previous day it was 1.25).

This means that a person with coronavirus goes on to infect on average slightly more than one other person. The R-value reflects the course of infection about one and a half weeks before.

The RKI also gives a so-called seven-day R. It refers to a longer period and is therefore less subject to daily fluctuations. According to RKI estimates, this value was 1.13.

Experts have hammered home the importance of keeping the R number under 1.

According to the RKI, there are currently three major hotspots in Germany: the district of Dingolfing-Landau in Bavaria with an incidence rate for the last seven days of 189.2 (cases per 100,000 inhabitants), the district of Hof, also in Bavaria, with an incidence rate of 35.7, and the city of Weimar in Thuringia (with an incidence rate of 26.1).

READ ALSO: Which countries are Germany's imported coronavirus cases coming from?

The RKI says current coronavirus-related outbreaks are happening in various settings, including meat-processing plants, facilities for asylum-seekers and refugees, nursing homes and hospitals as well as in the context of families or religious events.


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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.