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Covid: 6,200 new cases as Swiss hospitals reach breaking point

© Stefan Amer |

On 3 November 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 6,216 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 24 hours, bringing the total to 182,303.

The number of tests over the last 24 hours was lower than last week. On Friday 30 October 2020, 38,211 tests were conducted with a positivity rate of 24%. Over the last 24 hours, 22,177 tests were conducted with a positivity rate of 28%. Lower test numbers and higher positivity suggest that the recent 24-hour figure could be missing significantly more actual cases than the numbers recorded over the weekend.

The number of Covid patients in Swiss hospitals continues to rise. Over the 72 hours to Monday, a daily average of 165 Covid patients were admitted to Swiss hospitals. Over the last 24 hours a further 316 were admitted, representing a steep rise in daily admissions.

There are currently 3,219 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across Switzerland, according to FOPH figures published by RTS. This figure has doubled over the last 10 days and is 35% above the peak during the first wave of 2,388 reached on 2 April 2020.

Deaths are rising too. Over the past month, 475 have died, of which 406 are laboratory-confirmed cases. These figures are similar to March. In the month that followed, a further 1,140 people perished.

Some hospitals in Switzerland are close to breaking point. On Monday, Nicolas Blondel, a doctor at Fribourg hospital, took to social media to make an impassioned plea to the public to stop the virus spreading. According to Blondel, the situation is now extremely serious. He said ambulances were arriving with Covid patients every quarter of an hour at his hospital. If that continues he said there would probably be no more space by Tuesday (Today) or Wednesday. Already the hospital is unable to treat patients as well as they would like, he said.

“Covid is not the flu and we are heading towards a health catastrophe” said the doctor. The only effective treatment for the virus is to break transmission. Currently, one test in two in the canton of Fribourg is positive, he said.

The hospitals in French-speaking Switzerland have reached overload and this is starting in some German-speaking cantons, said Blondel. “Stop believing those that say everything is fine….this is the last chance to take action”, he said.

Total Covid-19 deaths in Switzerland stood at 2,430 on 3 November 2020, of which 2,202 were laboratory-confirmed cases. Switzerland’s 14-day infection rate was 1,069 per 100,000.

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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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