Scientists warn of new rise of Covid infections in Switzerland

Health experts say it won't be long before the number of Covid-related hospital admissions increases again. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle

The Swiss government’s Covid-19 advisory panel has warned about the recent increase in new infections due to the more contagious Delta variant.

This content was published on July 13, 2021 - 17:39

The science task forceExternal link said the dominance of the Delta variant would likely result in an increasing number of hospital admissions in the next few weeks.

“The share of infected patients is expected to be higher than in Britain because of a lower rate of vaccinations,” the task force said in a statementExternal link on Tuesday.

It said a new wave of infections had been observed in Switzerland and neighbouring countries in recent weeks.

In spring, infection rates rose in Switzerland with the emergence of new virus variants. The new caseload then stabilised and slowed until the end of June, with average new daily infections below 200.

However, since early July the number of new infections has started to creep up. On Tuesday, there were 483 new reported infections - an increase of 74% over the past seven days - zero deaths and five new hospital cases, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said. The Delta variant is behind 71% of all new cases. Around 3% of beds in intensive care units are currently occupied by Covid patients.

Over the previous 14 days, the infection rate stood at 38 cases per 100,000 residents, and the reproduction rate is 1.47.

The 16-34 age group is hardest hit by the new increase in Covid-19 infections, the taskforce added.

Meanwhile, around 40% of Swiss residents over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, while another 950,000 people have been given one Covid injection so far, the FOPH reported. Switzerland has just over 8.5 million inhabitants. Around 52% of people in the UK have been double-jabbed.

The Swiss government has repeatedly called on the population to get the jabs, but the vaccination campaign has slowed from a peak of 90,000 jabs a day to around 61,000.

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