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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
Women may be required to srve in the military. Photo by Dabrice Coffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Health official: “We didn’t expect infections to increase so much”

Faced with a drastic rise in the number of coronavirus cases since the beginning of July, Anne Lévy, director of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), said she is concerned about the resurgence of the disease in Switzerland.

 “We knew it would happen but we didn’t expect it to increase so much and so quickly “, she told the media on Sunday.

She added that “the pandemic is not yet over and the future situation is difficult to assess”.

READ MORE: Why are Switzerland’s Covid rates on the rise once again?

In Bern, getting a Covid shot is a piece of cake

To celebrate the success of its vaccination campaign, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) will serve cake to all passersby today from 1:30 pm in front of the Federal Building in Bern.

A mobile vaccination unit will be on site as well, to encourage people to get the shot right there and then, without having to book an appointment.

FOPH noted that inoculations are progressing well in Switzerland, with two out of three people over age 16 having received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

Three cantons warn against contaminated drinking water

The heavy rains that hit the country in the past days have polluted the water with harmful substances in certain municipalities in the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg and Luzern.

As a result, bacteria have contaminated the drinking water in those regions, making it unsafe for consumption.

If you live in one of the impacted areas — which you can find out by visiting your community’s website or calling local authorities  —  you should boil tap water before drinking it or using it to wash fruits and vegetables.

After several days of flooding the weather is improving, and water levels in most Swiss lakes and rivers are descending.

READ MORE: Weather update: Lake Zurich bursts banks, Lucerne preparing for flooding
 

Gender equality: The army wants to conscript women

The Federal Department of Defense is currently examining four options for compulsory military service. One of them is the obligatory conscription of women.

The Swiss Society of Officers (SSO) is in favour of this option.

“It is time for both sexes to have the same rights and duties in the army,” SSO head Stefan Holenstein told NZZ am Sonntag.

The proportion of women in the army is currently 0.9 percent, according to SSO.

Concurrently, a Geneva association “Service Citoyen” plans to launch an initiative on August 1st — Swiss national holiday — to force all Swiss men and women to serve in the army or in a militia organisation.

Most Swiss want to stay out of the EU

In a new poll, 64 percent of people surveyed in Switzerland said they are against joining the European Union, and 58 percent support the Federal Council’s decision in May to break off negotiations with Brussels.

Forty percent of respondents want new negotiations for a framework agreement, while 46 percent also believe that the voters, rather than the government, should decide on the terms of such a pact

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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