Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
Fewer coronavirus patients are hospitalised right now. Phoro by LOIC VENANCE / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

The government unveils its three-step strategy toward ‘normalisation’

The plan consists of the “protection phase” in effect until the end of May, followed by the “stabilisation phase” until the end of July, and “normalisation phase” to be implemented by the end of August, at which point Covid-related restrictions “can be largely lifted”, the Federal Council announced. 

However, authorities stressed that each phase can be accomplished only if the population is willing to be vaccinated.

Read the details of what is involved in each phase of the plan in our article today.

READ MORE: Swiss cantons to start vaccinating younger people after increase in severe Covid cases

Pandemic is mostly — but not yet totally — under control, numbers show

Despite the increasing number of coronavirus cases, Switzerland’s general epidemiological situation is improving.

Health authorities assess the state of the pandemic based on several criteria.

Just days ago, only one of these conditions had been met, but now half of them are fulfilled.

  • Number of beds occupied in intensive care (average over 15 days): 214. Threshold: 250
  • New daily hospitalisations, combined (last 7 days): 51.4. Threshold: 55.3
  • Number of daily deaths (last 7 days): 5.7. Threshold: 7.3

However, norms were exceeded in the number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants (over 14 days): 331.88. Threshold: 229.9, as well as the R-rate: 1.10. Threshold: 1.00

Swiss Federal Railways are expanding their fleet

Switzerland’s railways (SBB) are spending 1.3 billion francs to buy 60 additional two-story InterRegio (IR) trains, supplementing the existing fleet of 93 IRs already in service.

Forty-one new cars will comply with the requirements of the Disabled Equality Act (LHand) in mainline traffic. This law mandates, among other things, that people with reduced mobility can independently access trains by 2023.

Also, to solve the capacity problems in certain high-traffic regions, 19 new trains be will be put into service.

More two-deckers will be put into service. Photo by SBB

Zurich to provide medical care to illegal immigrants

Municipal authorities have approved a 4.6-million-franc pilot project to provide health services to undocumented migrants and others who don’t have health insurance — a programme similar to the one already in existence in Geneva.

Officials estimate that between 11,000 and 14,000 people in Zurich don’t have health insurance and would therefore be eligible for the programme.

If you have any questions about life in Switzerland, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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