Covid Cases Continue to Rise Sharply in Switzerland

There has been double the number of cases compared to last week with some scientists expressing growing concern. Hospital cases are rising and the government has launched a campaign to encourage more people to get vaccinated ahead of winter. UPDATED

Last Wednesday 3,291 cases were recorded – almost double the number of a week earlier.

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is rising and  98% of cases are the Delta variant.

The levels are now similar to the second wave peak in autumn last year.

Now, like then, the rise is being partly attributed to people travelling more.

There are also concerns about a lower level of vaccinations in Switzerland than the European average.

The Swiss Society of Intensive Medicine has warned of a “very steep” rise in the number of people seriously ill with Covid-19 in intensive care in the past few days.

Many of them are young people, and they are mostly unvaccinated.

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reports that August 2nd – 8th, the increase was the greatest between 20 and 29 years of age with  3,056.89 cases per 100,000 people.

“A new wave is looming. It’s tragic, and we don’t know how to stop it”, Nicolas Müller, Chief Physician at the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Zurich University Hospital, said in an interview with Blick.

“Right now, we treat a lot of vacationers returning from travel,” he added.

Crossing Switzerland

Crossing Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI.

Of the alpine nations France has the highest number of current cases with 221 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

The statistics were published on Monday 23rd August.

The corresponding figure is now 202 in Switzerland.

Two weeks ago in France it was 228 and in Switzerland just 66, so there has been a sharp increase in Switzerland recently compared to other nations with territory in the Alps.

It is currently 87 in Austria and 72 in Italy.

Two weeks ago in Austria it was 37 and in Italy it was 65

In the UK the figure remains one of the highest in Europe at 339 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

It remains far too early to tell what travel and ski resorts may look like for next winter, but concerns are present for some.

The Swiss glacier ski resorts of Zermatt and Saas-Fee are currently open for summer skiing and snowboarding.

In Switzerland only 50% of people are fully vaccinated, and there are very few cases of double jabbed people being admitted to intensive care.

Currently around 70% of intensive beds are occupied in Switzerland – 14% by Covid-19 patients.

The average vaccination figure in the EU is 54% and in the UK it is 77%.

The Federal Office of Public Health has launched a publicity campaign to urge more people to get vaccinated.

It remains compulsory to wear masks on public transport and in some public places, and this regulation will be re-evaluated in September.

Mask-wearing is no longer required outdoors or in dance clubs.

Events of over 10,000 people can go ahead as long as people show a Covid certificate.

Indoor and outdoor areas of restaurants are open with working from home recommended, but not compulsory.

More than 10,300 people have died with Covid-19 in Switzerland, which has a population of 8.6 million.

Last winter Swiss ski resorts mainly stayed open.

At the end of the season PlanetSKI reporter, Mark Urban, travelled to Switzerland to report on the situation and look back on the Swiss decision.

Mark Urban, PlanetSKI, Switzerland

Mark Urban, PlanetSKI, Switzerland