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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
No wonder confinement and working from home is not good for the figure. Photo by Pavel Danilyuk, Pexels
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Switzerland has fewer intensive care beds than neighbour countries

According to new data from the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), there were 11.8 intensive care places for every 100,000 inhabitants in Switzerland in 2018 — just below the average of 12 beds / 100,000 in the 22 OECD nations.

At the top is Germany with 33.9 places, followed by Austria (28.9) and France (16.3). Italy is the only neighbouring country with fewer intensive care beds (8.6).

However, the most important metric is not the number of intensive care beds but  “qualified staff to take care of the patients in the beds. And qualified staff cannot be increased or re-trained within a short period of time”, said Tobias Bär, spokesperson for the conference of cantonal health directors.

READ MORE: A struggle for each bed’: How Covid admissions impact hospitals in Switzerland

United States discourages travel to Switzerland

The US State Department and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have just issued the red (highest) “do not travel” warning for Switzerland.
This is due to “very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated”, the State Department said. 

Rescue operation for injured Swiss cows

The incident went almost unnoticed in Switzerland but was deemed important enough to be featured on American television.

“Twelve cows in Switzerland had to be airlifted down a mountain after getting injured during their summer trek in the Swiss Alpine meadows”,  reported the Inside Edition, a US TV programme that specialises in “offbeat stories, investigations” and — in this case quite literally — “uplifting news”.

“One by one, they were picked up by a harness attached to a helicopter and treated to a scenic descent through the majestic mountains”, the programme reported.

You can see the video of the daring rescue here: 

The pandemic made Switzerland’s population fatter

What do you do when you are confined or working from home, and all the fitness centres are closed?

You open the fridge and eat…and eat.

It is therefore hardly surprising that residents of Switzerland gained 3.3 kilos on average in 2020, according to a new study by University of St. Gallen.

That is a considerable weight gain, especially compared to five previous years, when an average weight gain among Switzerland’s residents was only 100 grams.

An initiative against military jets to be launched today

On September 27th, 2020, Swiss voters narrowly approved the government’s plan to spend 6 billion francs on new fighter jets. Several contenders were considered, but in June of this year, the decision was made to purchase 36 F-35 planes.

However, the Group for a Switzerland without an Army, the Socialist Party and the Greens, are launching an initiative today against the purchase.

They argue that the American-made jets “are oversized for the needs of Switzerland …In addition, with this fighter plane, the US secret service will always be on board. This choice is therefore absolutely scandalous from a democratic point of view”.

Opponents must collect 100,000 signatures within 18 months for to bring their issue to a national vote.

READ MORE: Swiss decision to purchase US fighter jets could force second referendum

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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