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Today in Switzerland For Members

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

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 22 Dec, 2021 Updated Wed 22 Dec 2021 08:12 CEST
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Find out what's going on today in Switzerland with The Local's short roundup of the news.

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Will Covid certificate's validity be based on the date of booster shot?

Swiss politicians call for the revision of the certificate’s expiration date “to better reflect" the current situation.

"The Covid certificate as it currently exists is obsolete," said municipal councilor of Dietikon Peter Metzinger, adding that the document “should be updated as soon as possible and the third dose should be set as the new standard. "

MP Mustafa Atici also supports the idea of ​​making the Covid certificate conditional on the third dose. “According to scientists, the triple vaccination offers the best protection. The booster must quickly become a new benchmark for certificate”, he said.

READ MORE: Omicron: Switzerland shortens wait for booster vaccines to four months

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Lower rate of infections: ‘Calm before the storm’, health official says

In the past few days the number of new Covid cases in Switzerland has dropped slightly, from about 10,000 to just over 8,000 a day. Health experts beleve the rate of hospital admissions will follow the downward trend.

It is, however, too early to celebrate, according to Patrick Mathys, head of the crisis management section at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

“We are in a moment of calm before the next new storm. The cases will increase very quickly”, he said, adding that even if Omicron were found to cause slightly less severe forms of coronavirus, its ultra-rapid rate of development will continue to put the Swiss hospital system under a very strong pressure.

“It is estimated that Omicron infections will double in Switzerland every three to four days,” Mathys noted.

Nevertheless, it seems that the health measures in force make it possible to slow down its development a little, compared to the most affected countries such as Denmark or the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: ‘Highest incidence ever’: Where are Switzerland’s Covid hotspots?

Moderna wants closer collaboration with Switzerland

The US vaccine manufacturer is seeking to “deepen” its relationship with Swiss authorities, its CEO Stéphane Bancel said in an interview with Swiss media.

The goal: to get Switzerland on board for a ‘vaccination subscription’ with a commitment to buy a certain volume of the mRNA vaccine.This would allow rapid delivery, even in the event of a new virus.

“We also want to invest in scientists in Switzerland and develop vaccines there in hospital and university laboratories”, as well to conduct more clinical trials, Bancel said.

The company already has presence in Switzerland: Swiss biotech company Lonza, which has a facility in Visp, canton Valais, manufactures an active ingredient for the Moderna vaccine.

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One right the Swiss don’t yet have: a right to repair

Switzerland, like other wealthy nations, has turned into a ‘disposable’ society: broken things like electronics are thrown out because it is easier and less expensive to buy new ones.

This process of becoming obsolete or outdated is called obsolescence.

Now a number of Swiss MPs say being able to have a broken phone or computer repaired should be encouraged at the federal level.

Their objective is not only to reduce the ecological impact of these products, but also to create employment, as the repair and reuse markets provide hundreds of thousands of green jobs.

Elected officials co-signed a motion, asking the Federal Council to quantify the prospects for the creation of new jobs generated by ‘a right to repair’.

“It is very important from the point of view of the social and solidarity economy and the environment ", the deputies said.
 
 
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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2021/12/22 08:12

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