Swiss news For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 18 May, 2021 Updated Tue 18 May 2021 08:09 CEST
image alt text

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Vaud opens vaccinations to people from 16 years of age

The canton is extending its vaccination campaign to adolescents born in 2004 and 2005.

Everyone in this age group can now register and make an appointment online, choosing among options such as vaccination centres, pharmacies, medical offices, and mobile vaccination units

Vaud is the sixth Swiss canton to open vaccination to people from 16 years of age, after Valais, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Geneva and Jura.

READ MORE: How to get the coronavirus vaccine in Vaud

New Swiss anti-Covid drugs on the horizon

The Ticino-based Humabs Biomed has developed an antibody medication, Sotrovimab, which reportedly reduces deaths  by 85 percent in people at increased risk of serious complications.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently evaluating the treatment, while approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA is just a matter of days away.

The second drug, Ensovibep, manufactured jointly by Zurich-based Molecular Partners and Novartis, is submitted to Phase 3 global trials. The FDA is using the drug in a "pivotal trial" for hospital patients. "It’s a big step in the fight against the virus," said Molecular Partners CEO, Patrick Amstutz.

Meanwhile, 3,000 doses of another Covid medication, manufactured by Switzerland’s Roche and US’s Regeneron, are expected to be delivered this month.  Described by the Federal Office of Public Health as “very promising”, it lowers the risk of severe complications and death by 70 percent.

READ MORE: Switzerland’s Roche reports promising results from anti-Covid cocktail

More Coop stores to open in Switzerland

The country’s second-largest supermarket chain is planning to expand the network of its stores from the current 950 to 1,000 supermarkets, according to Coop CEO Philipp Wyss.

The new shops will open in villages and the neighborhoods of various cities, but they will be smaller than Coop mega-stores that are prevalent in many parts of the country.

Every move you make, they’ll be watching you

When you wait for your train to arrive at the station, you are being closely watched by the sensors installed by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). They know when you get in and out of the train, and where you go.

Currently, 17 sensors are installed at four stations across the country: in Bern, Zürich-Hardbrücke, Basel and Lanzburg. SBB intends to expand the passenger-watching scheme to other parts of Switzerland as well.

However, SBB doesn’t have any nefarious reasons for watching the comings and goings on its platforms. The purpose of monitoring passenger movements is to find out how to best  increase safety in stations, according to SBB spokesperson Ottavia Masserini.

Photo by SBB

May weather is ‘worse than normal’

Wind, rain, snow — could this really be spring?

Meteorologists confirm that the weather in Switzerland is “worse than normal” for this time of the year. Even Russia and Finland are warmer right now.

Geraldine Zollinger from Meteonews attributes current conditions to “the jet stream and a band of strong winds, which shovel cool air” to Switzerland.

Unfortunately for those who have made plans for the long Pentecost weekend, it does not appear that warm temperatures and sunshine can be expected “in the course of the second half of the month," Zollinger said.

In other words, no spring weather is on the horizon.

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]



Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/05/18 08:09

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also