Switzerland calls up army reservists to help in coronavirus crisis

Switzerland calls up army reservists to help in coronavirus crisis
A member of the Swiss Army deployed to support public hospitals as part of a historic mobilisation for Swiss Army since the Second World War, against the spread of the COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
Switzerland has called up thousands of army reservists to help in the battle against coronavirus, the first time it has done so since World War II.

In order to relieve hospitals under pressure, the army announced it could mobilise up to 8,000 personnel.

Lieutenant-Colonel Raoul Barca, in charge of a battalion of 750 soldiers, told AFP it was the first time that reservists had been called up since 1939.

“The situation is serious… the coming days will be critical for the health care system,” director-general of health for the Geneva canton Adrien Bron told reporters on Sunday.

Schools, universities and creches have been closed in Switzerland as part of measures to limit the transmission of the virus.

The country has recorded 7,000 infections including 60 deaths from the disease.

It has so far avoided confinement restrictions adopted by other countries but on Friday announced that it would ban all gatherings of more than five people, and that anyone standing closer than two metres to others risked a fine.

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