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

Swiss President warns about the impending risk of electricity shortage.
Shortage of electricity could affect public transportation in Switzerland, like this Zurich tram. Photo by H. Emre from Pexels
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Seasonal viruses circulate in Switzerland

It’s not just the coronavirus that is circulating in Switzerland, but other infectious diseases are also spreading throughout the country at the moment.

These viruses affect mostly children, attacking air tubes in the lungs and nasal passages. Due to the rise in these cases, pediatric departments in many Swiss hospitals, including the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and University Hospital in Zurich are saturated.

While these seasonal viruses are not uncommon, the number of recent hospitalisations far outnumbers last year’s.

“It’s quite simple to explain. In 2020, we practiced protective measures,” more extensively than now, according to Didier Pittet, HUG’s director of the Infection Control Programme.

The Swiss continue to buy a lot of weapons

Despite the tightening of the gun law in 2019, when more restrictive ownership measures were accepted in a referendum, an increasing number of private individuals in Switzerland continue to buy firearms.

The possession of guns has not declined since the vote, according to Tages-Anzeiger: up to four million weapons are estimated to be in circulation in Switzerland. And the trend is on the rise.

Cantons report that there is no slowdown in the number of permits issued in comparison to previous years, even though all gun fairs and numerous shooting events were canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Swiss love their guns. Photo by Stefan Wermuth/AFP

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Understanding Switzerland’s obsession with guns

Adverse reactions to Covid vaccines are rare in Switzerland

Serious side effects from the Covid vaccine continue to be rare, according to new data released by Swissmedic drug regulatory body.

Out of 11 million doses administered in Switzerland since the beginning of the inoculation campaign in January, 8,757 adverse reactions were reported; 2,978, were classified as serious.

Almost 69 percent of side effects were related to the Moderna vaccine, which is not surprising, Swissmedic said, as it is the most frequently used vaccine in Switzerland.

“The adverse reaction reports received and analysed so far do not change the positive benefit-risk analysis of the Covid-19 vaccines used in Switzerland”, Swissmedic said.

Switzerland could suffer from electricity shortage

Swiss president Guy Parmelin is warning that due to failed negotiations with the European Union, Switzerland is at risk of not having enough electricity supply within three years.

The Swiss are connected to the European grid, which makes it possible to ensure the secure supply of electricity in Switzerland.

“By electricity shortage, we mean a situation in which we have too little current for weeks, or even months,” Parmelin said.

“After a pandemic, a shortage of electricity represents the greatest risk for Switzerland”.

“This means, for example, that factories would produce less, that public authorities and providers such as banks would have to reduce their services, or that electricity-powered means of transport could only move in a limited way,” he added.

READ MORE: How can you save on your household energy bills in Switzerland?

Faulty mask recalled

Swiss Health Protection GmbH is recalling a mask which was found to be defective as it doesn’t sufficiently protect against viruses.

The respiratory mask concerned is the LAIANZHI KN95 type KM1095, the company said.

People who bought these masks are advised to stop using them, and return them to pharmacies or other retailers where they were purchased, to exchange for another model.

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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