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MAPS: Where are Switzerland’s new Covid hotpots?

MAPS: Where are Switzerland’s new Covid hotpots?
The number of hospital admissions has increased in Switzerland, including in Geneva’s university hospital. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
The epidemiological situation in Switzerland has worsened in the past two weeks, with not only more reported infections but an increased number of hospitalisations as well. This where most outbreaks are.

The overall situation in the country is not as dire as it was in the spring and autumn of 2020, mostly due to half of Switzerland’s population now being vaccinated against coronavirus — but the numbers of infections, hospitalisations and deaths have been rising steadily.

Where are Switzerland’s Covid case hotspots?

The rate of infections in Switzerland for the past 14 days has been 362.92 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

That is an 86.3-percent increase over the previous two-week period.

As this map from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) shows, most of the reported contaminations (the darkest coloured areas)  are in the eastern cantons; Glarus has the highest rate of infections at 529.69 per 100,000, followed by Thurgau (502.96), and St.Gallen (491.88).

There’s also a cluster in northern part of the country: Basel-City (492.74), Basel-Country (456.01), Schaffhausen (446.88), Solothurn (439.97), and Aargau (439.17).

In the French-speaking region, Geneva has the highest rate of infections (429.65) , followed by Jura (385.95).

Ticino, on the other hand, which was one of the main hotspots during the previous waves, has the lowest rate — 207.92 per 100,000 residents.

Hospitalisations also on the rise in Switzerland

As The Local reported on August 19th, “health and intensive care sector is again exposed to increased pressure”, according to the Swiss Society of Intensive Medicine (SSMI).

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

Just how bad is the situation?

Fortunately, it is not as dire as it was at the height of the pandemic when many hospitals reached their full capacity.

The national average is now 7.46 hospitalisations for 100,000 residents, much lower than in the same period last year, when it reached 296.29 / 100,000.

However, what worries health officials is that the number of hospital admissions has been rising steadily — from 170 in the week of August 8th to 340 the following week, a 100-percent increase.

Two central cantons have the highest concentration of Covid-related hospitalisations: Glarus (29.56 / 100) and Obwalden (21.09).

Vast majority of patients, health authorities say, are those who have not been vaccinated against Covid.

And, according to FOPH, “Hospitalisation data should be interpreted with caution due to under-⁠reporting and reporting delays”.

This means current numbers are likely higher.

Unlike previous waves, when mostly older and vulnerable people were hospitalised, this time around most of the patients are younger and unvaccinated.

Also, most are foreign nationals returning to Switzerland from holidays in their home countries, especially in the Balkans, “who did not want to be vaccinated. Others did not know that they should have been vaccinated”, said Hans Pargger, head of the intensive care unit at the University Hospital Basel.

READ MORE: Why are most Covid patients in Switzerland foreign nationals?

What about the deaths?

While Covid-related deaths have also increased, the actual number is relatively low: 14 as of August 9th.

However,  only three deaths were reported the previous week, so the increase is significant.

The national rate stands at 0.39 / 100,000, drastically down from 99.77 reported last fall.

Most deaths occurred in Ticino (163.3), followed by Neuchâtel (160.91), Valais (154.55), and Thurgau (145.50).

 

Please note that this data is valid as at August 24th, 2021. 


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