Switzerland sees Europe’s biggest surge in Covid-19 cases

Switzerland sees Europe's biggest surge in Covid-19 cases
AFP
Europe has seen a huge surge in Covid-19 infections in recent days with Switzerland topping the table for the biggest growth rate.

Around the world the pandemic has continued to pick up speed over the past  week, with 342,550 new daily cases, an increase of nine percent over the previous week, according to an AFP tally on Friday at 11am GMT.

But it is in Europe that the rate of infections has increased most, spiralling by a huge 44 percent. The number of new average daily cases there is around 121,227, against 84,400 the previous week.

The number of cases also rose in Oceania by 66 percent, in North America by 17 percent and Africa by 16 percent.

However the number of infections has decreased in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East by 15 percent, as well as in Asia (down by seven percent).

The number of confirmed cases only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, as different countries have different counting practices and levels of testing.

Biggest increases

It is in Switzerland where the pandemic is growing most with a 146 percent rise, or 1,771 new daily cases on average, among the countries which have recorded more than 1,000 daily cases over the past week.

Chart from Our World in Data

Belgium follows with 125 percent, or 6,235 cases, Poland (111 percent, 5,472 cases) Italy (106 percent, 6,172 cases) and Slovakia (78 percent, 1,214 cases).

On Friday Switzerland reported another 3,105 new infections, setting a new record for a second consecutive day, albeit the country is carrying out more tests than it did back in the spring when the pandemic first hit.

There have been a total of 74,422 confirmed cases in Switzerland and the neighbouring principality of Liechtenstein. The death toll in the country rose by 5 to 1,823 on Friday. 

 

 

 

Chart from Our World in Data

 

On Thursday the country's health minister warned that the situation was “deteriorating” at an alarming rate.

“We have in recent days faced a new dynamic, which is very negative and very strong,” Alain Berset told reporters. “For the past week, he said “the situation in Switzerland is deteriorating faster than elsewhere.”

The proportion of positive tests in the country has meanwhile jumped from 5.4 to 10.2 percent in the past week.

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga warned Thursday that a full-blown second wave was looming. “It is five minutes to midnight,” she told reporters, urging everyone in the country to take precautions.

“The swifter we act, the less restrictions there will be for the population, the economy, families and risk groups,” she said, urging everyone to “work together”.

 

 


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