‘Better than expected’: Switzerland’s Covid numbers positive but mutations remain a concern

Official Swiss data shows that the number Covid-related infections, hospitalisations and deaths has dropped over the past several weeks, though the new mutated viruses are still a concern.

'Better than expected': Switzerland's Covid numbers positive but mutations remain a concern
Healthcare centers, such as Vaud's university hospital (CHUV) are less saturated. Photo by Fanrice Coffrini / AFP

“The situation is better than we expected. We have succeeded in positively influencing the course of the epidemic “, said Martin Ackermann, president of the Covid-19 Task Force during a press conference on Friday. 

And figures published on Monday by the Federal  Office of Public Health (FOPH) show that this is indeed the case.

The three-day figure (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) for the number of new infections is 2,560, averaging just over 853 cases per day.

This means there are now 162,38 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, as compared to the average of 370,000 / 100,000 a month ago.

Most of the reported infections are in western cantons of Neuchâtel (328 cases per 100,000), Vaud (271) and Geneva (269).

The darkest cantons on the map below are where most contaminations have been found. The lightest shades have the lowest numbers.

So most of the country is now in the lower digits.

The downward trend can also be seen in hospitalisation numbers, where Obwalden is the only canton, where the rate of beds occupied by coronavirus patients is 15,82 /100. In all the other regions, hospital occupancy is below 10 / 100,000.

As far as deaths are concerned, the highest numbers (more than 5 cases per 100,000) are in Neuchâtel and Obwalden

To put it all in historical context, the numbers for all three categories were considerably higher in the past weeks.

There are, however, two worrying trends right now: the increasing number of detected cases of mutated variants and higher R-rate – the speed with which the virus spreads.

A total of 3,776 people have been reported to be contaminated by the variants discovered in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.

And while the R-rate hovered under the 1 mark for a while,  it now stands at 1,06, which means more people are being infected. 

All the latest FOPH figures can be found here. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s new ‘relaxed’ coronavirus measures? 






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Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists

Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival announced on Friday that it was forced to drop the acts of four UK-based artists from its summer program because they haven’t been fully vaccinated yet.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival cancels concerts of unvaccinated British artists
British singer-songwriter Rag'n'Bone Man was dropped from Montreux Jazx Festival. Photo: GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

The move was done in order to comply with current Covid-19 entry rules into Switzerland, which state that from June 26th, travellers from outside the Schengen zone, including Brits, will only be allowed to enter Switzerland if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. 

READ ALSO: Switzerland relaxes travel rules for vaccinated Americans and Brits: What you need to know

British soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man who was one of the headliners for the 2021 edition of the festival, which starts on July 2nd, will now no longer be able to attend due to not being fully vaccinated.

Other unvaccinated acts based in the UK who were also dropped because of the new entry rules include Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio.

The artists have already been replaced with other performers from around Europe including Italian singer Zucchero, Woodkid, Dutch songwriter Benny Sings and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression.

In a statement on June 25th, festival organisers said they were trying to make sure that the concerts of the other UK artists would continue to go ahead, however it is tricky because of fears over the Delta strain of the Covid virus, which has now become dominant in Britain.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of just a small handful of big music festivals in Switzerland that will still go ahead this summer. Other music events such as St Gallen Open-Air, Paléo and Bern’s Gurten festival have been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to ongoing fears over the Covid-19 virus.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: What rules do European countries have for travellers from the UK?