Today in Switzerland For Members

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 19 Jul, 2022 Updated Tue 19 Jul 2022 08:03 CEST
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Prices of new vehicles are through the roof. Photo: Tom Fisk on Pexels

Temperatures are soaring, monkeypox is spreading, and other news in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Heatwave alert: temperatures could reach 39C today

Extremely hot weather is continuing throughout Switzerland, with the heat expected to peak in some areas today, according to forecasts from the official meteorological service, MeteoSwiss.  

Temperatures as high as 39C could hit Geneva, though no Swiss region will be spared from the scorching heatwave for several days to come.

READ MORE: How Switzerland’s largest cities are combating the heat

Health Ministry changes its monkeypox strategy

Since the first case was detected in Switzerland in May, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has been insisting the risk of this infectious disease — affecting primarily gay men — spreading in the general population was low.

However, as the number of people who have tested positive in Switzerland now exceeds 200, FOPH changed the risk to “moderate”, not excluding “a development of the epidemic affecting other groups of the population”.

Starting tomorrow, monkeypox will be considered a "notifiable" disease, meaning that "laboratories are required to communicate results to the FOPH within two hours”, allowing health authorities to better track the disease’s evolution and transmission.

Switzerland refuses to take in wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians

Swiss government denied NATO’s request to take in Ukrainians injured in the war, Tages-Anzeiger newspaper revealed on Monday.

The reason for the refusal: neutrality.

According to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the 1949 Geneva Conventions, key documents in the international law of war, contain a special provision for neutral states.

The provision states that in the event a neutral country treats soldiers wounded in battle, it must ensure that they, "can no longer take part in war operations" — something that Switzerland has no say in.

The FDFA prefers to bring its aid directly to Ukraine, by supporting the hospitals there,  Tages-Anzeiger reported.

READ MORE: NATO in, neutrality out: How the Ukraine invasion impacted Switzerland

Prices of new cars soar in Switzerland

If you are in a market for a new vehicle, now may not be a good time to purchase one.

New models currently cost an average of 62,919 francs — 39 percent or 17,505 francs more than they did five years ago.

In fact, car prices have risen faster than inflation, according by Auto-i-data, a company which compiles statistics related to automobile industry in Switzerland, and reported in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung (NZZ).

Among reasons cited for the price explosion are shortage of electronic components and raw materials, delays in the supply chain, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Swiss consumers are ready to spend large sums on their cars: according to NZZ, inflation in Switzerland is lower than in other European countries and the purchasing power here remains high in international comparison.

READ MORE: Cost of living: How you can beat Switzerland’s inflation blues?

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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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/07/19 08:03

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