Today in Switzerland: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday

Always on time: Swiss trains are most punc
Always on time: Swiss trains are most punctual in Europe. Photo by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB)
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Two cases of the Omicron variant confirmed in Switzerland

Two first cases of coronavirus due to the Omicron strain were detected in Switzerland, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced on Tuesday evening.

The two people, linked to each other, were placed in isolation.

Classified last Friday as “worrying” by WHO, Omicron, initially detected in South Africa, is spreading quickly in Europe.

In Switzerland, travellers from 23 countries must present a negative PCR test when boarding a plane and entering Switzerland, then quarantine for 10 days.

READ MORE: UPDATE: What are the current rules for entering Switzerland?

Swiss health experts tell young people to prioritise Pfizer vaccine

Switzerland has recommended that people under 30 get vaccinated the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine rather than Moderna. The decision is based on new data about myocarditis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the heart.

According to regulatory agency Swissmedic, out of more than 11.6 million doses of vaccine administered in Switzerland up to November 23rd, 238 suspected myocarditis cases have been reported. Of these, 42 appeared shortly after an administration of the Pfizer vaccine and 187 after an injection of the Moderna vaccine, which led health authorities to recommend Pfizer as a safer option for young people.

Seniors in Switzerland are satisfied with healthcare

The majority of people in Switzerland aged 65 or over report above-average levels of satisfaction with medical care they receive.

This is the finding of a survey conducted in 11 countries by the Commonwealth Fund foundation.

Some 97 percent of the older resident population have a general doctor, a GP. In nine out of 10 cases, respondents get an answer on the same day if they contact their GP’s surgery about a medical issue, the study found.

Swiss residents in that age bracket are also more likely than their counterparts in other countries to consult many different doctors, but in 77 percent of cases, GPs always or often arrange and coordinate treatment with other care providers.

Nearly 40 percent of Swiss residents have migration background

Over 2.7 million people in Switzerland — 38 percent of the permanent residents  aged 15 and over — had a migration background in 2020, according to new data from the Swiss Statistics Office (FSO).

Compared to 2019, this represents an increase of 0.3 percentage points.

Among the population with a foreign background, 80 percent were born abroad, while the remaining 20 percent were born in Switzerland.

As this FSO chart shows, most represented nationalities among the migrant population are Italian and German.

Swiss trains are the most punctual in Europe

This is not exactly breaking news but we are reporting it anyway.

In Switzerland, almost all trains run on time. This is what emerges from a new survey conducted by the French Transport Service Quality Authority.

The study looked at the punctuality of trains in 16 European countries in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Verdict: Switzerland tops the ranking for overall punctuality in 2018 and 2019. It is followed by the Netherlands and Denmark.

The UK, Italy and Portugal, on the other hand, are at the bottom of the rankings.

READ MORE: ‘The pleasure of punctuality’: Why are the Swiss so obsessed with being on time?

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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