Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 23 Aug, 2021 Updated Mon 23 Aug 2021 07:56 CEST
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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: An echinacea plant blooms on the newly reopened High Line park on July 16, 2020 in New York City. One of New York City's most popular attractions, the High Line reopened with social distancing policies as part of the Phase 3 coronavirus plan. Visitors must enter on Gansevoort St., walk one way, maintain six feet apart and wear their masks. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by STEPHANIE KEITH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

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

Most people hospitalised in Switzerland are immigrants

A significant portion of the Covid-19 patients currently treated in Swiss hospitals are of immigrant background, according to NZZ am Sonntag, which based its report on information received from health professionals and cantonal public health offices.

This particularly concerns people from the Balkans, many of whom have returned from vacations in their home countries.

Many are insufficiently informed about the pandemic and vaccination, or possibly they are delaying their shots until they return from the holidays, the newspaper reported.

READ MORE: Swiss hospitals: Sharp increase in the number of Covid patients in intensive care


Swiss immunologist predicts arrival of "super-variant"

There are currently several coronavirus mutations circulating in Switzerland and around the world, with Delta being the dominant one at the moment.

But Swiss immunologist Sai Reddy warns of appearance next year of a “super-variant”, which would be a combination of existing strains.

"It is very likely that a new variant will appear and that we can no longer count on vaccination alone. That is why we must prepare for several vaccinations for the next few years, which will be continuously adapted to the new variants”, Reddy said, referring to the new strains as "Covid-22".

READ MORE: Covid infections in Switzerland skyrocket


A drastic proposal in Geneva

The canton’s health director Mauro Poggia said that those who refuse the vaccine and get infected with coronavirus should pay at least partly the costs of their hospitalisation.

Currently, the health insurance covers these costs.

As 90 percent of Covid-19 patients admitted to Geneva’s hospitals are not vaccinated, they should be responsible for their choice not to get immunised and participate in the costs incurred for their care, Poggia said.

“People who got vaccinated don’t want to bear the consequences of the choices others make. Neither does our economy”, he noted.

Night trains to Berlin are canceled

Due to the planned strike by the German train drivers' union, GDL, the night trains from Zurich to Berlin and Hamburg will be canceled today.

The affected trains are the ICE Zurich-Basel-Hamburg, Interlaken-Basel-Berlin and Basel-Cologne.

The end of the strike is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 am. This means that night trains from Zurich to Berlin and Hamburg are not expected to run regularly again until Wednesday evening, the ÖBB said.

Coneflower advertising under scrutiny

Drug regulator Swissmedic says advertisements for products containing Echinacea — a coneflower extract believed to boost immunity— are misleading and should be stopped.

Advertising for pharmaceuticals is strictly regulated in Switzerland and the agency concluded that two companies, A.Vogel and  Homeopharm, placed illegal ads for their products.

Already last year, one of the products concerned, Echinaforce, was marketed as having coronavirus-fighting properties.

At the time, Swissmedic warned that "promoting the use of Echinaforce against coronaviruses is not permitted for reasons of patient safety”.


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]




Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/08/23 07:56

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