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Coronavirus: Geneva hospital feels strain as number of patients rises

Coronavirus: Geneva hospital feels strain as number of patients rises

Hai Huy Ton That |

In Geneva, the number hospitalised with Covid-19 has reached 134, the highest it has been since the first wave in spring. On Friday 16 October 2020, there were 94 patients. This represents a jump of 43% in 3 days.

Across Switzerland, the picture is similar. On Friday there were 582 Covid-19 patients hospitalised. By Monday, this number had risen to 751, according to data published by RTS, a jump of 29%.

The current trend in hospitalisations is eerily similar to the first wave. On 17 March 2020, there were 551 in hospital. Three days later, there were 841, a jump of 53%.

The rising number of hospitalisations follows a steep rise in infection numbers. Over the weekend a further 8,737 cases were recorded across Switzerland, according the the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Two weekends ago the same figure was 1,548.

By 19 October 2020, the total number of reported SARS-CoV-2 infections in Switzerland stood at 83,159 and deaths at 2,138.

Hospitals are feeling the strain. Jérôme Pugin, the head of intensive care at Geneva’s HUG hospital told the Tribune de Geneve that staff are already tired and unmotivated and that the rate of absenteeism is high.

Part of the challenge is driven by hospitals returning to regular surgery. During the first wave, these operations were largely put on hold. HUG now has 7 Covid-19 patients in intensive care. If this rises to 10, the hospital will be at a critical point, according to Pugin. He said the public is no longer cheering them on, however now they really need it.

In addition, contact tracing teams are under strain and test positivity rates are rising steeply. Test positivity in Geneva has reached nearly 28%, a sign that a smaller percentage of actual infections is being detected, which probably means more undetected spread of the virus.

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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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