Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 14 Dec, 2021 Updated Tue 14 Dec 2021 08:06 CEST
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Swiss parliament vote to approve a contribution to the EU Cohesion Fund after the government rejected the framework agreement deal with EU, during a night debate in Bern on September 30, 2021. - The Swiss parliament agreed to release more than €1 billion to EU members, a gesture of appeasement after the Swiss decision to break off negotiations on an framework agreement. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.


Covid-19 patients need intensive care twice as often

In a new publication, the Federal Statistical Office highlights the effects of the Covid pandemic on Swiss healthcare system.

The 12-page report documents the impact coronavirus has had on hospitals, as well as on retirement and nursing homes, in 2020.

The analysis found that Covid patients are twice as likely to receive intensive care as those with other medical conditions (12 percent versus 5 percent). In addition, they need three times as many intensive care hours as those without Covid-19 (232 versus 72 hours).

Also, 40 percent of coronavirus patients in Swiss ICUs required intubation, compared to 9 percent of other patients. In addition, people hospitalised with a Covid-19 diagnosis died five times more often  than those without coronavirus, the report found.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why are Covid infections soaring in Switzerland despite vaccination?


Most of Switzerland’s foreigners are C-permit holders

The Federal Statistical Office has also just published labour figures for the third quarter of this year (June to September) .

It shows that the majority of foreign nationals employed in Switzerland — 46.4 percent — are ‘settled permanent residents’ —that is, C-permit holders.

Next (27.5 percent) are permanent residents with a B permit, or an L permit granted for more than 12 months. Cross-border workers constitute 21.2 percent of the labour force, while ‘other foreigners’ and those with an L permit valid for less than a year make up the smallest proportion of the workforce — less than 3 percent.

The dual nationality of MPs will be made public

The possible dual nationality of parliamentarians must be made public, the Council of States decided, in order to ensure more transparency about the deputies.

This motion was first filed by MP Marco Chiesa in 2018. He argued that dual citizenships of elected officials must be mentioned in their official biographies so their constituents are fully aware of any potential conflict of interest that dual nationality could cause.

The issue of dual nationality among federal councilors sparked debate during the 2017 election to the Federal Council. The current Minister of Foreign Affairs and the 2022 Swiss president Ignazio Cassis, had given up his Italian nationality at that time.

READ MORE: How Switzerland’s Social Democrats want to introduce ‘citizenship by birth’


Bern frees 27 million to develop Covid treatments

The federal government has just signed contracts with four Switzerland-based pharmaceutical companies —GeNeuro SA, Kinarus AG, Memo Therapeutics AG, and  Noorik Biopharmaceuticals AG  —for the development of new drugs to treat COVID-19.

These contracts are the result of the call for proposals launched by the government in the summer of 2021 as part of its Federal Funding Programme for COVID-19 Medicines. The contracts are worth around 27 million francs. The new drugs are expected to be available by the end of 2022, authorities announced.

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/12/14 08:06

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