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Swiss health experts expect rise in Covid infections

The increasing number of hospital admissions is concerning Swiss health experts. Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Senior health officials have warned of an increase in Covid-19 infections in Switzerland amid rising hospital admissions notably of patients without vaccinations.

This content was published on August 24, 2021 - 15:53
swissinfo.ch/urs

Patrick Mathys, the head of the government’s crisis team at the Federal Office for Public Health described the situation as “very unfavourable” and “to some extent worrying”.

A fourth wave of infections had begun and risked overburdening the hospital system he told a news conference on Tuesday.

He said the level of vaccinations was too low: around 56% of the population have had at least one dose and 50% have had two.

"The proportion of the non-immune population is still far too large," he said. “The figures do not indicate that the situation could ease in the near future.”

Latest data shows the number of new cases hovering between 2,500 and 3,000 daily, close to the level of last spring. The number of hospital admissions following a return from holidays in a country in south-eastern Europe had risen dramatically.

Mathys was one of several experts reiterating calls on the Swiss population to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and to heed hygiene safety rules, including keeping a distance and wearing masks.

Recommendation

Christoph Berger, head of the government’s advisory commission for vaccinations, said experts would issue an official recommendation for all people over the age of 12 to get the jabs.

Currently only about 16% of the 12-18 age group have been fully vaccinated.

He said it was an important measure to prevent the closure of schools.

The statements come ahead of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday where the government is due to decide on the next steps to contain the spread of the virus, notably extending the use of Covid-19 certificates and of suspending its policy of free testing from the beginning of October.

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