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

Booster shots for all are on the way in Vaud. Photo by Robin UTRECHT / ANP / AFP
Booster shots for all are on the way in Vaud. Photo by Robin UTRECHT / ANP / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Swiss Covid cases exceed the 10,000 mark

The number of new daily infections could set a new record: 10,466 contaminations were reported on Wednesday.

The last time Switzerland hit that number was during the second wave on November 2nd, 2020, with 10,562 new cases reported on that day.

The number of cases is not only soaring exponentially, but pockets of infection are also spreading from the eastern and central part of Switzerland westward. 

The first map, from the Federal Office of Public Health, shows the epidemiological situation as it was on November 22nd, and the second one depicts the latest situation, from Wednesday.

READ MORE: ‘Critical situation’: Switzerland’s new coronavirus hotspots

Vaud to start offering booster vaccines to all ages

Like all the cantons, Vaud’s booster shots have been reserved for people over 65, as well as those suffering from serious chronic illnesses.

From December 6th, however, people aged 50 and over will be able to receive third doses, followed by those 16 years old and up from December 13th, the canton announced.

Neuchàtel, Bern, and Graubünden are also offering boosters for people under 65, but other cantons still have not announced when they will begin to do so.

READ MORE: Switzerland approves Covid-19 boosters for everyone over 16

Hospitals are saturated in German-speaking Switzerland

Besides Zurich, hospitals in other cantons are starting to suffer from shortage of intensive care beds as well.

In Bern’s Inselspital, there is only one free ICU bed left. The pressure is also mounting in Basel’s university hospital.

Experts warn that it is only a matter of time before hospitals in the French-speaking regions will be impacted as well.

“Gradually, the whole of Switzerland will be saturated,” said Neuchâtel state councilor in charge of health Laurent Kurth, adding that “most of the patients who clog intensive care units today are unvaccinated”.

READ MORE: ‘No more ICU beds’ in Zurich as Switzerland hits all-time Covid case record

Switzerland’s economic recovery slows down but remains robust

The Swiss economy has recovered in 2021 thanks to the lifting of health restrictions, which boosted exports, especially by the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The rise in the number of infection rates during the second half of the year has, however, slowed the growth somewhat.

Even so, Swiss GDP should return to its pre-crisis levels by the end of the year, experts predict.

The unemployment rate is expected to remain higher than in 2019, but the number of non-working people has fallen sharply, while the number of job vacancies has increased.

The OECD also notes that inflation, after being negative for almost a year, has now risen due to rising energy prices. However, the increase remains below the upper range set by the Swiss National Bank (SNB).

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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