Coronavirus: Hope as Switzerland records lowest number of new infections since mid-March

The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Switzerland rose by 400, the lowest daily increase since March 17th. Despite this, fatality rates continued to rise in Switzerland.

Coronavirus: Hope as Switzerland records lowest number of new infections since mid-March

There are now 25,300 confirmed infections of coronavirus in Switzerland, as 400 new infections were confirmed at midday on Sunday. 

The rise is the lowest daily increase since 309 new cases were detected on March 17th, giving rise to hope that the country’s social distancing measures are having a positive effect. 

The news was not all good however, with 64 new deaths seeing the fatality toll rise to 1,074. 

The tally is the second-highest daily total since the virus broke out in Switzerland. 

Switzerland has been one of the hardest-hit countries per capita. 

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 2,800 cases. 

The number of deaths in the canton crossed 200 on Wednesday, with the tally now at 244.  

This means that Ticino has just under one quarter 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 4,500 and 4,300 respectively – approximately a third of the country's total cases.

In total, 224 people have died in Vaud – an increase of 20 since Saturday – and 144 in Geneva due to the virus.

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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