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Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Swiss cable cars, like this one in canton Vaud, are safe, expert says. Phoro by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Swiss laboratory to store coronaviruses from around the world

Switzerland will provide a global repository for coronaviruses, according to terms of the agreement that Health Minister Alain Berset signed with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Covid viruses and other pathogens will be kept at a laboratory in Spiez, in canton Bern, which is part of the  Swiss institute for the Protection of the Population against nuclear, biological and chemical threats.

Zurich University Hospital to provide at-home medical care

The new project aims to significantly reduce the number of occupied beds in the hospital by treating patients at home whenever possible.

To do this, the hospital will launch a new online platform containing information about patients’ health. Mobile devices will continuously collect patient data at home, which will be evaluated by algorithms.

In the event of a serious risk, the system will alert the doctors and the patient will be transferred to the hospital.

READ MORE: Zurich releases 30,000 new vaccination appointments in pharmacies

Swiss cable cars are safe, expert says

After a tragic cable car crash in the Italian mountains on Sunday that left 14 people dead and a young child in critical condition, Swiss lift operators said a similar accident  is not likely to happen in Switzerland.

“Such accidents are difficult to imagine in Switzerland”, Berno Stoffel, president of the Swiss Ski Lifts Association told Blick newspaper.

“All cable cars are regularly inspected, both internally by companies and by the Federal Office of Transport. Breaking a cable is almost unthinkable”, he said.

 Regarding infrastructure inspections, Stoffel emphasised that “all suspension and hauling cables are regularly x-rayed. Then there is an accurate status report, and any issues are analysed in detail”.

Swiss Eurovision contestant may boost country’s tourism

Swiss singer Gjon’s Tears, whose song “Tout l’Univers” came in third in the Eurovision song contest on Saturday, “is a very good advertisement for our country”, according to Markus Berger, a spokesperson for Switzerland Tourism. 

After seeing Gjon’s Tears performance, “foreign travellers should be more inclined to book vacations in our regions”, Berger said.

It is debatable whether a relative unknown like Gjon’s Tears can attract more tourists to our shores than tennis champ Roger Federer whose commercial with US actor Robert De Niro went viral on social media.

Switzerland to host historic summit

US president Joe Biden and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin are expected to hold their first meeting in Geneva.

National security advisers  from the White House and the Kremlin reportedly met in Geneva on Monday to organise the bilateral  summit between the two countries.

The date of the meeting is not yet known but it is likely to be “several weeks from now”, according to media reports.

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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