Will the Swiss government in turn end up making the ultimate decision, the containment, as in Austria, of the only unvaccinated? While the rate of contamination has skyrocketed in the Confederation for five weeks, with a very strong acceleration in recent days, the Federal Council was to meet Wednesday, November 17 in Bern to assess a tightening of measures which have not changed since the October 14, when rapid (antigenic) tests became payable in order to encourage the population to be vaccinated.
However nothing helps, the latter has stagnated at 65% (complete vaccination schedule) for weeks. Even though the fifth wave is no longer just at the gates of the country, as the director of the Geneva University Hospital, Bertrand Levrat, still imagined on Monday at the microphone of public radio RTS: “The grizzly is currently in the forest in Germany. The number of patients is likely to double every five days. “
In fact, with 471 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last fourteen days, the virus continues its spectacular progression after a summer when the crisis had almost been forgotten. Switzerland thus follows, with a lag of ten days, the trajectory of its Austrian neighbor; the rate of contamination in the Confederation is, for example, five times higher than that of France and other more vaccinated southern European countries.
“National Immunization Week”
With a marked contrast between the big cities (Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne) where the increase is moderate, while in five small ultraconservative cantons of central and eastern Switzerland, the number of infections explodes with up to 1,300 cases for 100,000 people. As in Appenzell where more than one in a hundred people is infected with Covid-19 at the same time.
New infections in recent weeks are having an impact on hospitalizations, with an average of 33 per day across the country. In intensive care units, the occupancy rate is 74%, with Covid cases accounting for 15% of the total. “Half of people in intensive care are under 60 years old, notes Virginie Masserey, director at the Federal Office of Public Health. A new overload is not excluded. “
To boost injections in the least vaccinated population of Western Europe, the government came up with the idea of a very expensive “national vaccination week”, with the public support of fourteen former ministers who remained popular, and an all-media communication offensive. In vain. Sunday, November 14, at the end of seven days of campaigning, only 34,000 injections had been carried out. More funny, a concert in support of the vaccine effort with national stars of pop and rap, turned into a fiasco in Lausanne, after the majority of tickets were rounded up by anti-tax activists who carefully avoided showing up at the event.
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Covid-19: in Switzerland, the fifth wave sweeps over the least vaccinated population in Western Europe