More jabs but no restrictions to prevent new Covid wave
Swiss health experts have called on people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to prevent another wave of the pandemic later this year.
Patrick Mathys of the Federal Office of Public Health confirmed a rapid increase in the number of infections, but he said it was too early to draw a conclusion. On Tuesday 707 new cases were recorded within 24 hours, up from 483 last Tuesday.
He said the office was watching the situation closely to decide on the next steps. The government, whose stated aim is to prevent a collapse of the health system, is likely to meet in mid-August to review its policy.
Mathys said it was not clear whether a surge in Covid cases would lead to an increase in hospital admissions and overcapacity in intensive care units.
“The number of new infections per day could soon reach the 1,000 mark,” he told a news conference on Tuesday. “The good news is that hospitalisations have remained at a low level.”
Samia Hurst, a bioethics expert and member of the government’s Covid-19 science taskforce, warned that a new wave of infections couldn’t be excluded if the percentage of vaccinated people was not higher.
“We’re seeing a reversal of trends,” she said. “The situation is no longer reassuring. It has become worrying.”
She said all age groups could benefit if they get the Covid jab.
Latest figures show that notably the 20-29 age group is hit by infections with the so-called Delta variant of Covid. It is the same group that still has a low vaccination rate.
Political expert Michael Hermann, director of the Sotomo research institute, said it was striking how the younger generation wasn’t using traditional media to get informed about the different aspects of the pandemic.
He recommended trying other channels to reach the younger generation.
The institute has regularly published surveys, carried out by the Demoscope polling company, on behalf of the health authorities.
He noted that the Covid pandemic had been politicised over the past 17 months and attitudes of both supporters and opponents of the government’s policy had been getting more entrenched.