Infections rising in western Switzerland due to coronavirus mutation

Infection numbers are again increasing in French-speaking Switzerland.

Infections rising in western Switzerland due to coronavirus mutation
While infection rates are rising in the west of Switzerland, hospitalisations are declining. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

After weeks of declining numbers, coronavirus infections are on the rise again in Romandie. Experts believe this may have implications for the entire country.

In Valais, Jura, Geneva, Vaud and Freiburg, the reproduction rate is above 1 in each canton. 

Blaise Genton, chief physician for general medicine at the University of Lausanne, said “we assume that the increase in infections is due to the British virus variant”, referring to the mutation of the coronavirus which was first detected in the United Kingdom. 

Mutations have been found in 30 to 40 percent of the samples taken, up from 15 to 20 percent of the samples from last week. 

Geton said the same trends were likely to hit German-speaking Switzerland in the coming days. 

“In a few days, German-speaking Switzerland will be in the same situation as French-speaking Switzerland is today”, Geton told the Tages Anzeiger

There has been some good news however, with hospitalisations falling. 

The demand for intensive care beds has almost halved since November 2020. 

While authorities welcomed the news, they said the figures should still be viewed with caution. 

Coronavirus patients still occupy around 25 percent of intensive care beds all across Switzerland. 

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