Germany To Introduce Coronavirus 'Immunity Certificates' For Recovered Public

German researchers are planning to introduce coronavirus "immunity certificates" to indicate who has recovered from the virus and is ready to re-enter society.

The documents are part of a research project being conducted at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, which will conduct blood tests among the general public for antibodies produced against the virus.

The antibodies will show which of the participants have had the virus and have recovered, according to a report by the German magazine Der Spiegel. Around 100,000 people will be tested at a time, and certificates issued to those found positive.

The testing could start in April if researchers are given the green light.

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"You could give immune people something similar to a vaccination certificate that could allow them exceptions from limits on their activities," Helmholtz Institute epidemiologist Gerard Krause told Der Spiegel.

The data collected will be used to help bring the country's lockdown to an end safely and allow people to rejoin the workforce. Currently, schools, non-essential shops and restaurants are closed and public gatherings of more than two people are banned.

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A doctor takes a throat swab sample for coronavirus testing in Papenburg, Germany David Hecker/Getty Images

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 57,298 and 455 people have died of the disease here, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

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Cases rose by 4,751, compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 66.

The highest number of cases are in the southern state of Bavaria, where 13,989 people are infected.

It is hoped the study will be able to determine a more accurate mortality rate from the virus, although the initial results may not be reliable.

Tests currently available can show false positives for coronavirus antibodies, as 90 percent of adults already have immunity against common, harmless viruses from the same family.

Germany is already testing more people for coronavirus than any other European country at a rate of 300,000 to 500,000 a week, according to officials.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel went into quarantine over concerns she was exposed to coronavirus, after a physician she'd interacted with tested positive. Merkel's spokesperson Steffen Seibert announced on Sunday that the German leader would continue to carry out her duties from isolation.

Germany To Introduce Coronavirus 'Immunity Certificates' For Recovered Public | Health