Switzerland to set up coronavirus hotline

Switzerland to set up coronavirus hotline
Photo: THOMAS SAMSON / AFP
Despite having no currently active cases of coronavirus, Switzerland will set up a hotline in the coming days to deal with questions from the public relating to the coronavirus.

Concerns about the coronavirus have swept across Switzerland and much of the globe. Two patients quarantined in a hospital in Zurich on Monday evening with suspected cases of the virus were later found to be clear. 

READ: Two quarantined Zurich patients test negative for coronavirus

As reported in The Local Switzerland on Tuesday, pharmacies across much of the country sold out of protective masks – despite experts warning that these masks did little to stop the spread of the virus. 

The virus, which originated in China, has been detected in 17 countries around the world. As yet, there are no cases of human-to-human transmission confirmed outside China. 

While the World Health Organisation said it is monitoring the situation, it is not yet at pandemic levels. 

Steps have been taken across the country to prepare as best as possible for the virus. 

Geneva’s National Reference Centre for Emerging Viral Infections has established a task force to deal with the coronavirus. 

The Swiss Government is also investigating whether a stockpile of surgical masks purchased in 2009 for the 2010-2011 flu pandemic can still be used. 

READ MORE: From coffee to nuclear fuel: What you need to know to understand Switzerland's strategic stockpiles

Authorities have said that part of the motivation for establishing the hotline is to discourage panic in the community. 

So far, only people who have travelled to China have contracted the virus. Healthy and younger people are less likely to contract the virus, with elderly people and the chronically ill at the greatest risk. 

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