Switzerland reports record daily number of new coronavirus infections
The number of new coronavirus infections in Switzerland and Liechtenstein rose by 1,487 in a day – a record – the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said on Friday.
This is 300 more new cases than the previous day and is a daily record: new daily cases peaked at 1,456 on March 23. On Friday, the average case count stood at 97 per 100,000 residents over the previous two weeks, FOPH said, while the test positivity rate over the same period was 6.5%.
New FOPH director Anne Lévy says the fast-rising number of new infections is worrying.
“The number of cases and the proportion of positive tests, as well as the proportion of older people, are increasing rapidly and across Switzerland,” she told reporters in Bern.
But she added that Switzerland was “well positioned to cope with the next few months”. In view of the increase, the FOPH has launched a new Covid-19 prevention campaign, replacing blue health messages with orange ones on posters and on social media. The public health body says it is important to bring the infection numbers down but the current health advice and measures – social distancing, hand washing, hygiene masks where necessary, and use of the SwissCovid app – remain the same. But they must be respected, says FOPH.
Head of disease control Virginie Masserey said it was the FOPH’s aim to avoid a situation where the population had to be asked to stay home again.
New infections have been reported across the country, with the exception of cantons Appenzell Outer-Rhodes and Obwalden, in eastern Switzerland. Over half of all new infections (53%) have occurred in cantons Geneva, Vaud and Zurich. The average case count for canton Geneva stands at 85 per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks and 77 for Vaud.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,794 reported deaths and 5,001 hospitalisations in the Alpine nation. In total, 60,368 cases of infection have been confirmed out of 1.4 million tests carried out in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
On Friday, Switzerland also added regions in neighbouring Germany, Austria and Italy to its “at risk” list of places from which travellers must enter mandatory ten-day quarantine.
It added Berlin and Hamburg in Germany, the Austrian provinces of Burgenland and Salzburg, and the Italian regions of Campania, Sardinia and Veneto to their list. In addition, Canada, Georgia, Iran, Jordan, Russia, Slovakia and Tunisia joined the list as of Monday.Keystone-SDA/sb