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

The army may soon be deployed to help manage Covid pandemic. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
The army may soon be deployed to help manage Covid pandemic. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

The army to be deployed for vaccination and healthcare

Faced with the skyrocketing number of infections and full ICUs, federal authorities have decided to call on the military to help with patient care and transport, logistics and vaccination.

Up to 2,500 soldiers will be deployed at the request of the cantons, if civilian resources are insufficient.

The engagement will be limited in time to March 31st, 2022 and has yet to be approved by the parliament.

The army was already deployed in spring and autumn of 2020, when cantons reached the limit of their capacities in caring for Covid patients.

So far, three cantons – Jura, Neuchâtel and Valais – have asked for help from the army .

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

The canton with most infractions of Covid measures: Geneva

Of all the criminal complaints filed in Switzerland for violation of the Covid law since March 2020, 44 percent have been handed out in Geneva.

Out of 14,031 legal procedures nationwide, Geneva alone has 6,206 — mostly “demonstrations and illegal events, rebellion against police and public transport personnel, or failure to wear masks”, according to Blick.

Zurich is the second-worst offender in regards to non-compliance with Covid law, with 2,385 court procedures, while Uri has fewest lawbreakers —  only nine.

Swiss unemployment rate stable in November

The unemployment rate at the national level — 2.5 percent — is better than expected, a sign of the robustness and resilience of the Swiss economy and the adequacy of the measures taken during  the health crisis, according to State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The jobless rate had remained stable in November, with 489 fewer people registered for unemployment benefits than in October.

Suicide pod clears legal review in Switzerland

The Swiss have taken the notion of assisted suicide to a whole new level: a coffin-like capsule, called Sarco, could be used in Switzerland from next year.

A 3-D printed capsule  allows a user to lie down and activate the death process themselves within a matter of minutes, according to its creator, Exit International assisted death group.

Image: Exit International press photo

However, not everyone thinks the pod is a good idea. Erika Preisig, president of the Lifecircle association and the Eternal Spirit suicide support foundation, disapproves of its use in Switzerland.

What bothers her is the fact that the dying person is separated from their loved ones for their final moments, she said.

READ MORE: Switzerland: What is the difference between assisted suicide and euthanasia?

Going boldly where few Swiss have gone before

Perhaps because Switzerland doesn’t have enough languages already, another one is in vogue: Klingon. And if it sounds a bit alien, it’s because it is.

The fictional language of the fictional ‘people’ who inhabit the Star Trek universe is currently taught at the Migros Club School in Basel, with a crash online course planned in the next few days.

On its website, the school said the course is geared to “trekkies and nerds” and teaches not only the language but also the “culture of Klingons”.

This video gives more details about what to expect.

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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