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Coronavirus: infection rates in some Swiss cantons now higher than Lombardy

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Lombardy, the region in northern Italy where the coronavirus outbreak first took off in Europe, now has fewer per capita cases testing positive for the virus than some Swiss cantons.

Recent data from Italy show there were 179 cases per 100,000 in Lombardy. In Ticino, Switzerland’s worst affected canton, there were 329 cases per 100,000. Geneva (231) and Vaud (211) had Switzerland’s next highest rates. In percentage terms Ticino (+84%), Geneva (+29%) and Vaud (+18%) all had more cases per capita than Lombardy.

Across Switzerland, the death rate so far, based on the number of deaths and recoveries to date, has dropped significantly. At midday on 23 March 2020 there were 107 deaths and 131 recoveries, a death rate of 45%. Two days ago the figure was 79%.

The current Swiss rate, based on the number of deaths and recoveries to date, is similar to Italy’s (44%) where there have been 5,476 deaths and 7,024 recoveries so far. Why these rates are so high compared to some Asian countries in unclear. Currently, the same rates in China (4%), South Korea (3%), Japan (15%), Hong Kong (4%) and Singapore (1%) are far lower. One theory is that the number of positive tested cases in these countries is closer to the real number of infections, while in Europe positive tested cases are the tip of a large iceberg of actual infections. There are likely to be other reasons too, such as demographic and healthcare differences. But right now we don’t know.

There are still sufficient intensive care places (ICU) for serious cases in Vaud and Geneva. At the Chuv hospital in Vaud there were 13 patients in ICU and at the HUG hospital in Geneva there were 41. The Chuv has 70 places and both hospitals could increase the number of ICU beds by 100, according to a recent report by RTS.

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About Le News
Le News
The newspaper Le News is a free, quality, local English language newspaper launched on 31 October 2013. Le News fills a gap in local Swiss media for the numerous English-speakers living and visiting Switzerland. In late January 2015 we decided to put our print medium on hold and focus on our digital media presence.
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