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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Health Ministry: Vaccinated people who died from Covid were elderly

Since the end of January, 460 people in Switzerland — out of about 4.6 million who are fully vaccinated to date —have been infected with coronavirus.

Of these, 96 had to be hospitalised and 19 died. Eighteen patients who passed away were over 80 years old, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

However, FOPH points out that the number of post-vaccine illnesses is likely underestimated, as asymptomatic cases that did not require medical treatment may not have been reported.

Beware of  mobile phone hackers

Vaud cantonal police has issued a warning cautioning mobile phone owners against fraudulent messages.

According to police, hackers copy a Facebook profile of one of your friends, they contact you pretending to be this friend, and ask for your cell phone number. You then receive an SMS with a code on your mobile. “The friend” asks you for this code. You then notice that your phone bill has increased by a certain amount.

The code in question is actually used to validate a purchase made over the Internet through a third-party company.

If you suspect a fake profile and an attempted scam, verify the information (for example by calling that friend). If this is indeed a fake profile, report it to Facebook through their online form.

Then immediately notify your telephone operator to stop the payment or possibly obtain a refund.

Switzerland scores high in the global Covid-19 ranking

In a new study of how successfully various countries handle the pandemic, Switzerland ranks in the second place, behind Norway.

The survey, conducted by Bloomberg news agency in the United States, found that  — compared to other nations — Switzerland had fewer coronavirus restrictions, which had a positive effect on its economy.

Bloomberg looked at “where the virus is being handled most effectively and with the least social and economic disruption”. In addition to infection and death rates, vaccination rates and the quality of the healthcare system were also examined.

More cross-border workers commute to Switzerland

At the end of June, Switzerland had some 348,000 cross-border workers — 2.2 percent more than in the second quarter of 2020, Federal Statistical Office (FSO) announced.

Most (55 percent) come from France, followed by Italy (23.6 percent), and 18 percent from Germany.

FSO statistics also show a significant increase in the number of cross-border workers over the last two decades.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What cross-border workers should know about taxation in Switzerland

Cows to lock horns on Sunday

Coronavirus restrictions had put a stop to an old Swiss tradition of cow fighting. The last such event took place in 2019, but it will resume on August 8th in Zermatt, at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn.

Around a hundred Hérens cows — a rare breed that is  specific to Valais —  will compete for supremacy within the herd and the canton. The winner will be the new queen.

On Sunday, however, this old custom will have a new twist: only those who show a health pass will be allowed to watch the fight.

READ MORE: Throwing sausages and smoking children: Switzerland’s five weirdest festivals

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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