Tag Archive: Editor’s Choice

Coronavirus: Swiss government makes masks compulsory on public transport

On 1 July 2020, Switzerland’s federal government announced that it would become compulsory to wear masks on public transport from 6 July 2020. Due to the the growing number of people using public transport and a rise in the number of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 since mid-June, the Federal Council has decided to make it compulsory for those taking public transport to wear a mask.

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Could Swiss ski resorts face Covid-19 lawsuits?

As the events and decisions surrounding the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus become clearer, fingers are being pointed. A mass lawsuit targeting events in the Austrian resort of Ischgl is looming, according to Bloomberg. Could similar legal action spread to Swiss resorts?

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Switzerland’s latest easing of Covid measures allows large political protests, provided masks worn

On 19 June 2020, Switzerland’s extraordinary state in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ended. This was accompanied by further easing of restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. Hand washing, maintaining social distance and mask wearing are the three golden rules that remain, according to Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga.

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SwissCovid app now available for download

On 25 June 2020, Switzerland’s contact tracing app, known as SwissCovid, became available for download. Created by a group of specialists at EPFL led by Marcel Salathé, a professor of digital epidemiology, the app allows chains of infection to be traced by informing people if they have been in contact with anyone infected. Countries, like South Korea, that have done a good job of this have been able to quickly isolate infected people and halt the...

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Coronavirus: Swiss authorities not open enough in early weeks, says medical expert

The Swiss authorities should have been more open about what they did and didn’t know about the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the early stages, according to Bertrand Kiefer, doctor, ethicist and editor of the Swiss Medical Review.

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Coronavirus: cheap drug substantially cuts severe case death risk, according to large UK trial

A trial at Oxford University suggests an existing low cost drug can cut the risk of death from Covid-19 substantially. Tests involving 6,000 hospitalised Covid-19 patients suggest the drug can cut the risk of death for those on ventilators from 40% to 28%. For patients needing oxygen the risk of death could be cut from 25% to 20%.

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Coronavirus: the rising number of mild cases with symptoms lasting months

Those with mild Covid-19 symptoms are supposed to recover after two weeks. However, a rising number of relatively young people with mild cases report symptoms months later. Johns Hopkins Medicine says that those with mild cases of COVID-19 appear to recover within one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery may take six weeks or more.

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Coronavirus: national lockdown not part of Switzerland’s second wave response plan

Switzerland’s federal government is against imposing nationwide restrictions to slow the spread of a second wave on infections, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. The federal government plan, which is under development, is more regional than the response to the first wave of infections and focuses decision making power at the cantonal level, reported the newspaper.

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Coronavirus: latest antibody study suggests 10.8 percent of Geneva infected in first wave

A recently published update to the ongoing study in Geneva to assess the extent of SARS-CoV-2 infection suggests 10.8% of the population may have been infected in the first wave of infections. The study, which tests a sample of the population over time for IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, started in early April 2020. The latest figures come from the fifth week of testing, which was concluded on 9 May 2020. 

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Swiss parliament votes in favour of flight tax

A majority of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of introducing a tax on flights departing from Switzerland. 132 voted in favour of the tax, with 65 against. The tax would range from CHF 30 to CHF 120 depending on the distance and class of travel, according to 20 Minutes.

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Coronavirus: WHO changes advice on masks

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently changed its advice on face masks. It now recommends healthy people wear them in public when social distancing is not possible, stating that they could provide a barrier for potentially infectious droplets.

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Coronavirus: Switzerland to reopen borders with EU, EFTA and UK on 15 June

Switzerland recently announced that it will lift existing entry restrictions with all EU and EFTA nations and the UK on 15 June 2020. In mid-May the Swiss government announced plans to fully reopen borders with France, Germany and Austria. On 2 June 2020, it decided to hold off on a full reopening of borders with Italy despite Italy’s decision to fully reopen its borders with Switzerland on 3 June 2020.

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Is the lack of inflight social distancing on SWISS airlines a risk?

Over two days last week, Thailand reported a score of new coronavirus cases. All were Thai nationals returning by air from the Middle East. Otherwise, there have been almost no new community or ‘inside country’ cases since mid-May.

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Coronavirus: Switzerland holds off on open borders with Italy

Switzerland’s Federal Council announced on June 2 that it plans to maintain border restrictions with Italy until further notice as a reciprocal border arrangement with Italy would be premature.

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Coronavirus: 22,000 Swiss deaths with no shutdown, estimate modellers in Zurich

Based on data from the first wave of Covid-19, epidemic modellers in Zurich estimate Switzerland would have suffered 22,000 deaths without the restrictions on daily life introduced in March 2020.

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Coronavirus: around 2 percent of Switzerland’s medical staff infected

2.1% of the 100,000 hospital staff working across 20 Swiss hospitals were infected with SARS-COV-2, according to a report published in the SonntagsZeitung.

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Coronavirus: number of tests stagnates in Switzerland

The number of daily new cases has remained low in Switzerland throughout May. The highest number of new cases over this period was recorded on 1 May (119). The latest daily number, published on 29 May, was 31 new daily cases. Since the beginning of May the number has been as low as 10.

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Coronavirus: new infections in Switzerland remain low

Over the last week there have been an average of 15 new SARS-CoV-2 cases a day. The first confirmed case in Switzerland was recorded on 24 February 2020. In the week that followed the number of new daily infections rose to 31. Another week later the number of new daily cases was 192.

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Swiss have mixed feelings about working from home, according to survey

Working from home is a mixed bag of pros and cons for most Swiss who were surveyed by gfs.bern in March and April 2020. But it worked for most. In 2019, before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, around 1.1 million employees in Switzerland occasionally worked from home.

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Coronavirus: drop in revenue could leave Swiss hospitals with 3 billion loss

In Switzerland, the finances of hospitals are similar to those of a business. If revenues fall, as they did during the coronavirus pandemic, profits can turn into losses.

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