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HEALTH

Coronavirus deaths in Switzerland approach 700 one month after first death reported

One month after the first death in Switzerland from the coronavirus, the death toll has now reached 680.

Coronavirus deaths in Switzerland approach 700 one month after first death reported
An empty terminal in Geneva airport. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

As at Sunday, April 5th, Switzerland's officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 crossed the 21,000 mark. 

There are now 21,100 cases, with an increase of 822 from Saturday to Sunday. 

An increase of 43 deaths saw the total rise to 680, according to cantonal figures released at noon on Sunday. 

The first recorded death from the virus took place one month ago on March 5th. 

This also makes the small Alpine country of 8.5 million people one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic compared to its population size.

What should I do if I have coronavirus symptoms in Switzerland?

Vaud, Geneva and Ticino hardest hit by the virus

The canton of Ticino, which borders hard-hit northern Italy, has been heavily impacted by the outbreak, counting more than 2,500 cases. 

There are now 177 deaths in the canton, an increase of 22 from Saturday to Sunday. 

This means that Ticino has just under one third of the country's total death toll, despite having just four percent of the population. 

The western cantons of Vaud and Geneva have the most infections of any Swiss canton, with 3,900 and 3,200 respectively – approximately a third of the country's total cases.

In total, 123 people have died in Vaud – an increase of 16 from Saturday to Sunday – and 78 in Geneva due to the virus. 

Zurich, Switzerland's largest canton, has also been heavily hit from the virus. There are 2,500 confirmed cases and 41 deaths in Zurich. 

There have now been coronavirus-related fatalities in 22 of Switzerland's 26 cantons. 

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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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