According to a report by RTS public broadcaster, which based its findings on data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva and six other French-speaking cantons are ranked among the European regions with the highest number of contaminations per capita: Valais is in the second place, Fribourg in the fourth, Jura in the fifth, Vaud in the seventh, and Neuchâtel in the ninth.
The Wallonia region of Belgium, as well as the Czech regions of Zlínský, Královéhradecký, and Jihoceský, are listed in the top 10 as well.
— RTSinfo (@RTSinfo) November 7, 2020
Switzerland’s French-language regions are the hardest hit by the pandemic. Each has implemented a raft of restrictions in the past 10 days to curb the alarming increase in infections and hospitalsations.
The measures, which go beyond those mandated on the national level, include the closure of bars and restaurants, as well as all entertainment and leisure venues like cinemas, theatres, fitness centres, swimming pools, and sports facilities.
In Geneva, the restrictions also include the closure of all non-essential stores and businesses.
Hospitals in the affected cantons have already reached their saturation points and have started transferring most seriously ill Covid-19 patients to intensive care units in less burdened medical centres in the Swiss-German part.
It is believed Geneva is Switzerland’s — and now Europe’s — coronavirus hotspot due to several factors.
One is that it is a large urban area with a high concentration of people.
Another reason is that the canton borders the French region of Haute-Savoie and Ain, two departments which are particularly affected by the second-wave outbreak.
Open borders allow free circulation of people, including some 125,000 frontier workers who commute between Switzerland and France each day.