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HEALTH

First coronavirus patients in Switzerland released from hospital after full recovery

Two patients who had been confirmed as carrying the coronavirus have been released from hospital after having recovered from the virus.

First coronavirus patients in Switzerland released from hospital after full recovery
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Two coronavirus patients, one in the western canton of Geneva and one in the southern canton of Ticino, have been released from hospital after having recovered from the illness. 

While recoveries have happened elsewhere, it marks the first time in Switzerland that people with confirmed cases of the virus have completed a full recovery. 

THE LOCAL SWITZERLAND CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

READ: Switzerland puts army into effective quarantine over coronavirus fears

UPDATE: Number of coronavirus cases in Switzerland continues to rise

MAP: Which Swiss cantons have been most affected by coronavirus?

The Geneva patient, who has not been named by authorities, was released on Tuesday. The patient is a student who lives in Geneva during the week. 

As yet, little information is known about the second patient, except that he or she was released from hospital after recovering in the southern canton of Ticino. 

As at Tuesday afternoon, including those who have recovered and been released, nine people have been confirmed with the virus in Geneva and four people in Ticino. 

As discussed earlier on The Local Switzerland, around 80 percent of those who contract the virus will suffer from mild symptoms. Only five percent end up in a critical condition. 

The risks are higher for older people or those with underlying health conditions. 

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TAXES

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

Switzerland’s tax deadline is just around the corner. Are Covid-related costs tax deductible?

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

March 31st is the deadline for filing taxes in Switzerland relating to the 2021 financial year. 

Over the past two years, the Covid pandemic has seen a change in our spending habits. 

While we may have saved on restaurants and travel, we laid out considerable costs on a range of new expenses, including disinfectant, masks and Covid tests. 

As some of these costs are required by law, can they be deducted from your tax?

In some cases, expenses directly related to the Covid pandemic can be deducted. 

Masks, for instance, can be deducted as medical expenses in some cantons, Swiss tax specialist Markus Stoll told 20 Minutes

This depends on the specific framework for tax deductions related to medical expenses in that canton. 

EXPLAINED: What can I deduct from my tax bill in Switzerland?

Generally speaking, any medical costs paid out of pocket can be deducted. However, most cantons impose a minimum percentage limit from which these costs can be deducted. 

In many cantons, this will start at five percent of your yearly income in total (i.e. including other out-of-pocket costs like dental or specialist visits), meaning you would need to purchase a significant amount of masks to beat the threshold. 

What about testing and vaccination?

Testing and vaccinations however were largely free as their costs were covered by the Swiss government, which means associated expenses cannot be deducted. 

Those tests which were not covered by the government – for instance for travel abroad or for visiting clubs – cannot be deducted, Stoll says. 

“Tests for travel abroad or to visit clubs are not deductible” Stoll said. 

For a complete overview of taxation in Switzerland, including several specific guides, please check out our tax-specific page here. 

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