Switzerland confirms first death of coronavirus patient

Switzerland confirms first death of coronavirus patient
Photo: RICHARD JUILLIART / AFP
The coronavirus has claimed its first victim in Switzerland. A 74-year-old woman died on Thursday morning in the canton of Vaud.

The woman, who was hospitalised in the western city of Lausanne with the virus on Tuesday, died overnight, regional police in the canton of Vaud said in a statement.

The woman, who also suffered from a pre-existing chronic illness, had been considered “high risk” from the virus. 

In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Vaud medical authorities said the woman's health had declined dramatically in a short period of time. 

She was admitted to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties but her condition worsened during the night and passed away in the morning. 

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COVID-19 produces mild symptoms in 80 percent of cases, but for the elderly and sick it can produce severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure. 

Globally, it is estimated to have killed 3.4 percent of those who have contracted the virus. 

More than 95,000 people have been infected and over 3,200 have died worldwide from the virus, which by Thursday had reached some 80 countries and territories.

Switzerland on Friday suspended all events with more than 1,000 participants until March 15, notably cancelling the Geneva International Motor Show. 

On Thursday, the International Labour Organization said that it had decided to cancel a meeting of its governing body, which had been expected to draw around 500 people from more than 70 countries this month, after conducting a risk assessment. 

The United Nations' European headquarters in Geneva has also closed its doors to visitors and has curbed some activities linked to the Human Rights Council.

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