Today's corona news in 60 seconds

+++ Doctor's note by phone +++ Situation serious not serious +++ Calls for better enforcement +++ The stats +++

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Berlin-Every weekday at 11am come to the Berliner Zeitung English Edition for the latest corona/Covid-19 news at a glance.

🚥 First, the official corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 18 October)

🟢 R number: 1.19 (o.94 Thursday)

🔴 New infections per week: 86.9 / 100,000 inhabitants (78.3 Thursday)

🟢 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 5.3 per cent (4.6 per cent Thursday)

Total number of corona deaths: 241 (+3 since Thursday)

Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page 

The lowdown...

Literally calling in sick

Wage slaves no longer have to go to the doctor to get a note excusing them from work for illness. Starting Monday, 19 October, they can now get one via telephone by describing their symptoms to their doctor. The note is then sent by snail mail to patients, who submit it to their employers. It can be extended once but there's an important exception: If you're feeling sick AND have had contact with a someone infected with corona, you'll need to see your healthcare provider in person.

The sky is not falling, doctor says

The head of the Bundesärztekammer, the federal lobbyist for German doctors, says the situation isn't as serious as politicians want us to believe. The country has 8,800 empty intensive station beds and corona cases are less serious than in the spring, Klaus Reinhardt told Deutschlandfunk radio. He said people need to learn to live with the pandemic with uniform federal regulations and by using the corona app, including recording positive test results –40 per cent of those tested positive never tell the app, he said.

Fines for the mask-resistant, please

The head of the association for public transport passengers says the BVG and S-Bahn Berlin, the city's two state public transport agencies, aren't issuing enough fines for people not wearing masks. BVG has only issued 30 fines since the end of August, partially because more people wear them and wear them correctly, the BVG's spokesperson says. Usually up to 98 per cent of passengers wear masks. No exact figures were available from the S-Bahn.

In case you missed it...

The Berlinale, the city's film festival, is deep in corona planning. What does that look like? Read here.

That's all for now folks. Have a healthy Monday!


The Berliner Zeitung English team

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