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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Tourists are a major source of Covid infections. Photo by Zurich ASIrport
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Disrupted emergency service: “Like a third-world country”

MPs are calling on the federal government to investigate the national breakdown of emergency numbers on Thursday night into Friday, blaming the telecommunications provider Swisscom for the blackout.

The numbers were not reachable from land lines, only from mobile phones.

Some deputies suggest that Swisscom should face criminal charges for having disrupted vital public service operations.

“It was as though we were living in a third-world country”, said MP Martin Candinas.

During the outage, which lasted several hours, cantons and communities across the country scrambled to set up and communicate to the public interim numbers for police, fire and medical emergency services.

For its part, Swisscom has not commented on this incident beyond saying it is being investigated in detail and adding that  “disturbances can never be completely ruled out”.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Swiss emergency numbers restored after nationwide breakdown

Bern is preparing for flooding, Nidwald submerged

Due to torrential rains in the region, the city and canton of Bern have installed anti-flood protections, as  the lakes of the Oberland and the Aar river reached the flood limit.

Residents are urged to remove all vehicles from the affected areas, and access roads are closed.

Heavy rains have also caused damage in other parts of the country, with evacuations over the weekend, as Nidwalden is submerged in water and mud.

In all, an estimated 27 billion litres of water have fallen in Switzerland since Thursday.

Which cantons have been best and worst in managing Covid-19?

Graubünden has coped the best with the second wave of the pandemic, according to the SonntagsZeitung, which based its findings on seven indicators ranging from health restrictions to the testing strategy, excess mortality, the vaccination campaign, and the overload of intensive care

Basel-City and Basel-Country occupy second and third places, respectively. The three cantons quickly tested and vaccinated their populations, leading to low positivity and death rates.

Geneva performed best among the French-speaking cantons, while St. Gallen, Jura and Fribourg are at the bottom.

Half of Zurich’s new infections caused by tourists

The number of daily coronavirus cases has doubled in Switzerland in the past two weeks, sparking fears that a new coronavirus wave is emerging.

Almost one in two cases is detected among tourists, especially those returning mainly from Spain, but also from Greece, according to a contact tracing manager in the canton of Zurich.

Most infections have been detected in young people, particularly in the 20-29 age group

READ MORE: Why have new Swiss Covid cases doubled in one week?
 

Foreign nationals in Switzerland needed more urgent medical care during pandemic

In 2020, foreigners in the country had to be treated more often in intensive care units than the Swiss, according to a report in Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) this weekend

The proportion of foreigners among Covid patients is not noticeably high overall. However, more of them were more seriously ill than their Swiss counterparts. The excess mortality was also higher among foreigners, the newspaper reported..

The risk of getting seriously ill with Covid was 1.75 times higher for foreign nationals  than for Swiss people.

NZZ explains that, based on studies, immigrants are more prone to contracting the disease  because of tight living conditions, jobs with a lot of customer contact, less possibility of working from home, lack of information on dealing with the pandemic, and lower trust in the authorities.
 

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  1. We are scheduled to visit Lauterbrunnen in mid September. We are 2 vaccinated Americans who will fly into Frankfurt and drive to Switzerland using a rental car. On the Swiss FOPH form ( required, I think) it requires the make of the car and the license plate#. Supposedly these forms must be completed and submitted prior to boarding the flight here in the U.S. This information cannot be known until we pick up the rental car. Has anyone experienced this dilemma? Thank you for any suggestions. Susan

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