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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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HEALTH

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I’m abroad?

Given how expensive health insurance premiums are in Switzerland, you may be tempted to suspend your policy while you are abroad. Is this possible?

Reader question: Can I put my Swiss health insurance on hold if I'm abroad?

Unlike the obligatory car insurance, which you can suspend temporarily by depositing your registration plates at the local motor vehicles office, rules pertaining to health insurance are much stricter.

As the Federal Office of Public Health explains it, “If you leave the country for a certain period to travel or study but do not take up residence abroad, you are still required to have [health] insurance in Switzerland”.

In other words, as long as you are a registered resident of Switzerland, regardless of your nationality or passport, you must keep your compulsory Swiss health insurance and pay your premiums. While you do this, you also remain covered against most medical emergencies while you travel.

However, rules are less stringent for supplemental health plans which can, in some cases, be put on hold, depending on the insurance provider, according to Switzerland’s Moneyland consumer website.

The only exception allowed for suspending the health insurance coverage is during a military or civil protection service which lasts more than 60 consecutive days.

“During these periods, the risks of illness and accident are covered by military insurance. Your health insurance provider will refund your premiums”, according to FOPH.

Under what circumstances can you cancel your Swiss health insurance?

Swiss law says you can cancel your insurance if you are moving abroad, either permanently for for a period exceeding three months.

If you do so, only claims for treatments given while you still lived in Switzerland will be paid by your insurance; any medical bills for treatment incurred after you officially leave will be denied.

These are the procedures for cancelling your compulsory health insurance if you leave the country under conditions mentioned above

To announce your departure abroad, you must send your insurance carrier a letter including your name, customer number or AVS/AHV number.

You must also include a certificate from your place of residence in Switzerland confirming that you have de-registered from your current address, as well as the date of your departure.

Note, however, that if your new destination is another Swiss community / canton, rather than a foreign country, your insurance can only be cancelled from the following calendar year and only if you present proof of having taken up a new policy with another company.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to register your address in Switzerland

You can find out more information about this process here

If you suspend your health insurance for less than six years, you can reactivate it at a later date with the same company when you return to Switzerland.

READ MORE : What you should know about your Swiss health insurance before you go abroad
 

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