EXPLAINED: The latest on how Switzerland is prepared for coronavirus

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 17 Feb, 2020 Updated Mon 17 Feb 2020 14:02 CEST
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While nobody in Switzerland has yet tested positive for novel coronavirus, authorities are warning that cases will likely arise at some point. Here's the latest on the situation.

Around 250 people in Switzerland have been suspected so far of being infected with the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. However, none have tested positive, health authorities say.

What is the latest on the coronavirus situation?

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported on Monday that while nobody has tested positive to date, it is possible that cases of this illness may still arise. 

“We and our partners are preparing for the eventuality that the new coronavirus will spread in Switzerland”, the FOPH said.

What happens if cases of coronavirus are found in Switzerland?

If nose or throat swabs performed on patients suspected of having the COVID-19 virus test positive — which has not been the case in Switzerland yet — people who have been in contact with the infected person will be informed by the health authorities.

According to FOPH, the patients with the confirmed COVID-19 virus would be put in isolation and people who had been in contact with them would have to remain in quarantine for two weeks.

“These measures would serve to prevent, as far as possible, the further spread of the novel coronavirus in Switzerland”, health authorities said.

READ MORE: How Switzerland is prepared for mystery Coronavirus 

What is the treatment for coronavirus?

At present, there is no specific treatment for coronavirus-related illness. The options are limited to the treatment and relief of the symptoms, which include respiratory difficulties.

Various antivirals are currently being used in severe cases in other parts of the world where cases of coronavirus have been found.

Are any specific precautions recommended for Swiss residents?

FOPH advises to avoid close contact (less than 2 metres) with anyone who has an acute respiratory disease, regardless of where they come from. Keeping distance will not only lessen the chance of contracting coronavirus, but also the far more common flu and cold viruses.

Health authorities said that based on the current situation, it is not necessary to restrict entry to Switzerland. However, if you have recently travelled to China and have difficulty breathing, contact your doctor immediately.

FOPH also published numbers to call in case of questions about the COVID-19 virus.

For the public: +41 58 463 00 00,
for travellers: +41 58 464 44 88




The Local 2020/02/17 14:02

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