Swiss plan to repatriate critical Covid-19 patients

Many of those being repatriated fell ill while on vacation. Keystone / Alberto Valdes

Switzerland plans to repatriate around 80 people currently suffering from Covid-19, a health official confirmed on Saturday.

This content was published on September 4, 2021 - 11:30

The Armed Forces Medical Service informed the cantons about the plan on Friday. About half of those affected fell ill while on vacation in Balkan countries, according to a Tamedia group report.

Tobias Bär, spokesman for the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors, confirmed the report on Saturday in remarks to Keystone-SDA news agency.

For at least eight people, repatriation is considered "urgent". The army medical service has called on the cantons and hospitals to  show "solidarity, transparency and honesty".

The Conference of Cantonal Health Directors brings together the 26 cantonal public health directors of Switzerland.

Details of the repatriation effort are to be hammered out in a Monday meeting gathering the cantonal public health directors, local authorities and representatives fo the Armed Forces Medical Service and the Society for Intensive Care Medicine.

Occupancy rates at intensive care units in hospitals is currently very high in Switzerland (80.3%), according to data released by the Federal Office of Public Health on Friday. More than a third (33.7%) of available beds are occupied by Covid 19 patients.

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