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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
The number of Covid patients in Swiss hospitals increased by over 30 percent. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Covid-related hospitalisations are up

As the number of infections has increased drastically throughout July, the rate of coronavirus patients admitted to Swiss hospitals has also risen.

In the week of July 19th to 25th, the number of people in intensive care units due to Covid went up by 33 percent — from 48 to 63 cases, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

However, the number is still well below the threshold of 120 hospital admissions per day that the Federal Council has set for tightening of rules.

Number of cases high, but stable

The number of coronavirus infections had skyrocketed from just above 100 a day at the end of June to more than 800 by July 23rd. This spike in cases is attributed primarily to unvaccinated tourists returning to Switzerland from abroad.

This has prompted Swiss heath experts to predict that numbers will continue to soar, with 1,000 daily infections expected the week of July 23rd to 30th.

So far, however, this has not happened. As of Thursday, July 29th, FOPH reported 827 new cases.

READ MORE: Covid-19: Could Switzerland implement new, colour-coded travel rules?

France donates food for the poor in Geneva

In an unusual role reversal between France and Switzerland, the French border region of Haute Savoie donated 12 tonnes of pasta to the association called Partage, which distributes food to the most destitute residents of Geneva.

According to the association, this “cross-border donation perfectly illustrates the solidarity of Greater Geneva” — the region that encompasses both sides of the Swiss-French border.

Slower economy during the pandemic impacted particularly Geneva’s undocumented workers and other vulnerable groups already living on the edge.

The food drive still continues in the city and, on a smaller scale, in some other Swiss regions as well.

Thousands of Geneva residents queued up to receive free food during the pandemic in 2020. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How applying for social benefits could see your Swiss work permit cancelled

Media criticizes “runaway” Swiss government

Le Matin newspaper is wondering why the Federal Council is away on vacation while the number of infections in Switzerland is high and the rate of vaccinations is slipping.

“While governments in all the countries around us are on the front lines against the epidemic, in Switzerland our federal advisers are on vacation”, the newspaper said.

“What is lacking in this period of uncertainty is a word of authority, which gives official answers to the many questions linked to the crisis. For the Federal Council, a month and a half away is too long in these uncertain times”, Le Matin added.

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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