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HEALTH

IN NUMBERS: What is the coronavirus situation in Switzerland now?

Lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted across Switzerland as cases of the coronavirus dwindle.

IN NUMBERS: What is the coronavirus situation in Switzerland now?
Swiss cellist Joelle Mauris performing as citizen initiative during the restarting of Geneva's landmark fountain, known as "Jet d'Eau". Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

This article was updated on June 18th.

Switzerland’s third round of coronavirus lockdown relaxations took place on June 6th. 

Other than large gatherings and events like music festivals and sporting fixtures – as well as distance requirements in most bars, restaurants and shops – things have an appearance of normality across Switzerland. 

READ: What you are allowed to do in Switzerland again as of June 6th 

R1

On June 17th, Professor Matthias Egger, the President of the Research Council and head of the Covid-19 Task Force, told SRF that Switzerland’s r-rate had again risen above 1

On the evening of Wednesday, June 17th, the official r-rate was at 1.1 in Switzerland. 

This rate is an average across the country and does not take into account regional variations. 

Egger said any further relaxations of the coronavirus lockdown measures should be avoided until the rate was again under control. 

Swiss authorities are set to meet on June 19th to discuss a further easing of measures, with Health Minister Alain Berset expected to relax the 2-metre distance requirement, replacing it with a 1.5-metre requirement. 

17

That’s the number of new cases in the 24 hours to June 18th in Switzerland. After a slight decline in the average daily new infections in June – including several days in single digits – the rates have increased slightly. 

There has been an average of 20 cases per day for the past week leading up to June 18th. 

 

 

31,215

The total number of detected cases of the virus since the outbreak began. 

Detection of a coronavirus infection depends on testing, which means that the actual cases in the community must be higher. 

461,128

A total of 461,128 tests have been performed in Switzerland, of which 8 percent were positive.

1,956

The number of coronavirus deaths in Switzerland as at June 18th according to reporting from the cantons.

The daily death tolls have declined significantly since the end of April, with fewer than one fatality a day since the end of May. 

Of the 1,581 deceased persons for whom the data are complete, 97 percent suffered from at least one preexisting disease.

The three most frequently mentioned were hypertension (63 percent), cardiovascular disease (57 percent) and diabetes (26 percent).

28,900

According to cantonal figures, more than 28,100 people have contracted the virus and healed as at June 18th – although as Patrick Mathys, Head of the Crisis Management and International Cooperation Section of FOPH, has said previously, Switzerland itself does not release official figures of those who healed from the virus. 

“With flu, we don't ask ourselves this. It's basically simple: either you die from the coronavirus or you recover.”

June 19th

The official end date of the state of emergency in Switzerland, as announced by Health Minister Alain Berset on May 27th. 

The state of emergency was first declared on March 16th. 

July 1st

This is the date when the state of emergency will end in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino. 

Ticino, which shares a long border with northern Italy, has been the hardest hit canton on a per capita basis. 

In addition to a longer state of emergency period, Ticino was also the last to emerge from the lockdown restrictions. 

An Italian delegation travels to the Swiss canton of Ticino. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Six percent

According to a study released on Thursday, only six percent of Swiss commuters wear masks on public transport.

The study, completed by mobility company Swisstraffic and published in media outlet Tages Anzeiger, surveyed approximately 10,000 people at train stations across Switzerland using video footage. 

The researchers found that 94 percent of passengers travelled without masks. The most obedient passengers were in Lausanne, where approximately eight percent wore masks. 

Which cantons have been hardest hit? 

All of the 26 cantons in Switzerland have recorded cases of the coronavirus. All but two – Obwalden and Appenzell Ausserrhoden – have seen fatalities. 

The latest figures confirms that there have been more than 31,180+ cases and 1,950+ deaths since the outbreak began.

The interactive map below shows which cantons in the country currently have the most cases and fatalities. 

Note: Due to the way in which the virus numbers are reported – sometimes directly via the cantons before requiring centralised approval in Geneva – there can occasionally be discrepancies. 

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HEALTH

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
 

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