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

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
A Covid party is dangerous, experts say. Photo by Edoardo Tommasini from Pexels
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Health Minister: With new certificate rule “we will regain our freedom”

Speaking with the SRF public broadcaster after announcing the extension of the Covid certificate from September 13th, Alain Berset justified the measure by saying it is crucial to prevent the hospital system from being overloaded.

“The alternative to the certificate extension would be month-long closings. So the certificate is not the problem, but the solution. It allows us to regain our freedom”.

The Health Minister added that the Covid certificate “will bring  security to a lot of people. It is really a good idea”.

READ MORE: Switzerland announces extended use of Covid certificate as ICU admissions rise

There is no need for booster vaccines, Swiss health expert says

Amid debates about the usefulness of a booster shot, Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva, says it is not necessary to administer the third dose to general public at this time.

“It is justified only in a very small number of people who are immune-compromised and possibly very old people”, he noted.

This is line with the government’s position that general population doesn’t need booster shots at this time, but authorities said they could be given in early 2022.

READ MORE: UPDATED: How can I get my Covid booster shot in Switzerland?

A dangerous trend: Covid parties

A growing number of people in Switzerland want to contract the virus in order to obtain the Covid certificate and enjoy the same benefits as people who have been vaccinated.

They take to social media to organise “Covid parties” where people wishing to get infected mingle with those who are already positive.

“If anyone tests positive soon, let me know. I need a certificate”, one person posted this message on Facebook.

Jürg Utzinger, director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, noted that this trend is dangerous: “An infection is always risky”, he said.

“A person who intentionally contracts the virus and develops the severe form of the disease risks hospitalisation and, in the worst case, death”, Utzinger added.

Switzerland is about to get even more expensive

The cost of electricity will increase slightly for households in 2022, according the Federal Electricity Commission ElCom.

A typical household will pay 21.2 cents per kilowatt hour (ct./kWh) next year, which corresponds to an increase of 0.7 ct / kWh, or 3 percent.

The new cost consists of the tariffs for the use of the network, the tariffs for energy, the charges payable to public authorities, and the surcharge levied on the grid.
 

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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