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

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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Beware of extreme heat this summer. Photo by JAIME REINA / AFP

New Covid-19 cases exceed 1,000

For the first time since October 2020, daily coronavirus cases in Switzerland topped the 1,000 mark  — 1,059 new infections were reported on Tuesday by the Federal Office of Public Health.

Nearly all contaminations in Switzerland — 99.4 percent —are caused by the Delta variant.

However, despite the increase in cases,  the number of Covid-related hospital admissions remains relatively low and healthcare facilities are not at risk of being saturated at the moment, according to FOPH.

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

New finding: Covid patients are now younger and more overweight

Coronavirus patients placed in intensive care units in Switzerland during the third wave were younger than those in previous two outbreaks. They were also more often overweight, according to a new study from the University Hospital of Zurich (USZ), published in the latest issue of Swiss Medical Weekly.

“The differences in the third wave probably depend largely on the vaccination campaign”, said Matthias Hilty, lead author of the study.

The reason for this finding is that “vaccinated elderly people are protected from serious forms of the disease”, and develop it much less frequently and severely than younger people who have not been inoculated, he said.

Swiss tourists warned about heatwave in the Mediterranean

A  “historic heat wave” is expected over the next days in certain popular holiday destinations, including Italy, where temperatures could reach 50 degrees.

Martin Röösli of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute advises against partying in the Mediterranean this summer. “Drinking alcohol at the beach is a bad idea right now,” he said. “With such heat, the body is already stressed enough by sweating and trying to lower its temperature. Alcohol is an additional stress factor on the body”.

And on the mind as well.

Thomas Müller, medical director at a clinic in Meiringen (BE), says people with severe mental illness should not spend their holidays in a scorching country, as “strong heat can cause psychotic attacks”. He recommends that those suffering from depression stay at home.

Zurich OpenAir 2021 festival is cancelled
The popular music festival, scheduled to take place from August 25th to August 28th, will no longer take place.
“Strict travel rules for the artists and the entirely canceled tours have affected the schedule so much that there is no chance of putting together a line-up that meets the quality standards in such a short time”, the organisers said.

Tickets that were already purchased will be refunded. Next year’s Zurich OpenAir will be held August 24th-27th, Covid permitting.

CBD oils recalled in Zurich

Two CBD (cannabidiol) oils are recalled because they are too …um…high in THC, the active substance in cannabis. Zurich medical authorities do not exclude a health risk for one of these products, the oil called “Dolocan Organic CBD-Oil 10% / 20% / 30%”.

As a result, ir manufacturer, Canway Schweiz GmbH, recommends not consuming these oils and bringing or sending them back for a refund.

Earlier, Heidi’s Garden, based in Mönchaltorf (ZH), recalled its CBD oil “Heidi’s Natural Secret”, after a cantonal laboratory found that that the product exceeded the maximum THC content allowed in Switzerland (1percent).

READ MORE: Reader question: Under what conditions can I return a purchase to a store in Switzerland?

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]

Member comments

  1. Honestly, these headlines are so misleading and do not reflect what is actually reported. I find this use of “click bait” headlines really exhausting.

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

Heating with wood to become more expensive, redacted vaccine contracts, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.

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

Heating with wood is starkly more expensive

It’s not only the prices for fossil fuels, oil and gas that have risen sharply in Switzerland. Even those who rely on alternative energies such as wood as a fuel currently have to dig deeper into their wallets, SRF reported.

The pellets made from pressed sawdust are 46 percent more expensive than a year ago. “In general, we can summarise that the increase is due to higher production costs,” said Peter Lehmann, President of the “proPellets” Association. In addition to processing, wood is also more expensive.

Last year, almost 50 percent more pellet-based heating systems were built than in 2020, which has increased the demand for pellets. However, Lehmann assumes that the price will not decrease in the medium term; wood as a raw material is too much in demand in the current situation.

READ ALSO: Five of the biggest challenges facing Switzerland right now

Swiss government publishes redacted vaccine contracts

After a long period of resistance, the Swiss government disclosed the vaccine purchase contracts. Before that, however, it had redacted them out extensively, Watson reported.

The authorities have kept it a secret even the duration of secrecy, so the Swiss won’t know how long it will take until they can see the complete contracts. The lack of transparency has brought on criticism against the government.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why vaccinations are not mandatory in Switzerland

Almost 10 percent of Ukrainian refugees have found jobs in Switzerland

A total of 9.4 percent of adults possessing a special “S” permit are working, with most employed in the restaurant sector, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said.

Nearly a quarter of them (23 percent) are active in the restaurant industry. In addition, 17 percent work in the “planning, consulting, IT” sector. Agriculture and education each account for 8 percent of those with the S status.

There are currently 61 424 status S applications in Switzerland, of which 59 411 persons have been granted S status, SEM said.

READ ALSO: 200,000 in 2022: Immigration fuelling Swiss population surge

Federal Council wants to decide on sanction policy in August

Switzerland’s Federal Council wants to discuss whether or not to adopt the so-called “thematic” sanctions of the European Union, Tagesanzeiger said.

These sanctions work differently than those imposed on a specific country. Instead, they allow measures to be taken against individuals, companies and organisations from different countries that violate certain rights. They are primarily concerned about violations regarding chemical weapons, cyber and human rights.

Specifically, in March 2021, the EU decided to sanction some persons, organisations and institutions from North Korea, Libya, Eritrea, South Sudan, Russia and China for serious human rights violations.

The controversial decision could lead to Switzerland sanctioning China, with Minister of Economic Affairs Guy Parmelin against adopting the measures.

READ ALSO: Switzerland bans imports of Russian gold