Switzerland warns of second coronavirus wave in winter

Switzerland warns of second coronavirus wave in winter
Daniel Koch, the spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland’s health authorities have warned that a second wave of coronavirus in the winter was likely.

Daniel Koch, the spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, said on Saturday evening that he was concerned about a second wave of coronavirus infections in the coming winter. 

Koch told Swiss media the public should not be lulled into a false sense of security due to the low number of cases – and reaffirmed that there was a need to keep some distancing and hygiene requirements – in particular the ban on large events. 

“If an infected person is in the crowd, you suddenly have hundreds or thousands of people who have been infected,” Koch said. 

READ: Switzerland's 200-million franc plan to achieve herd immunity

While contact tracing has emerged as a way to control infections should another outbreak start, Koch said this was not always possible. 

“It (contact tracing) is not achievable at an open air event.”

READ: How severe will the second wave be in Switzerland? 

Koch said the risk of infection was higher in winter, as more respiratory diseases circulate and more people have symptoms while the virus has been shown to spread more easily through cold and dry air. 

“We will therefore have to test a lot more people,” Koch said. 

Over the weekend, Switzerland announced a CHF300 million vaccine fund, CHF200 million of which would be used to reserve vaccines for the Swiss population. 

Koch said the priority was to vaccinate nursing and hospital staff. 

 


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