Switzerland decides against further Covid measures

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announces a change in the country's Covid-19 health pass rules. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announces a change in the country's Covid-19 health pass rules. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland on Wednesday decided against putting in place tighter Covid measures, although officials said “stricter measures (including closings) are ready” if the situation continues to deteriorate.

In a call with cantonal health directors on Wednesday, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said further Covid measures would not be put in place for now but warned the situation remains serious. 

Skyrocketing infection rates led to increasing pressure on the federal government to take additional steps to curb the spread of the virus.

On Monday, the government announced new measures would be considered on the basis of data relating to the Omicron variant’s spread around the country. 

Berset on Wednesday said while new measures would not be implemented, they had been drafted and could be implemented in future. 

On Wednesday, Switzerland recorded 30,000 new infections. 

This is the first time the 30,000 mark has been breached. On Tuesday, more than 20,000 were recorded – which itself was the first time Switzerland had crossed the 20,000 mark. 

Berset said the crucial metric however was not how many people were contracting the virus, but how many of those infected fall seriously ill. 

“The decisive factor is how many Omikron infected people need intensive care” Berset said.  

Berset warned the public to get vaccinated, saying further measures had been prepared and may be implemented soon. 

“Stricter measures (including closings) are ready. Should they be necessary, the Federal Council can decide quickly,” Berset said on Twitter. 

Berset called on those who had not yet been vaccinated or who have not received a booster shot to get a jab. 

“We are following very closely the effects of the end of the holiday period, the start of school and how the pressure on the hospitals – hospitalisations and ICU occupancy – is developing” Berset said. 

As The Local reported on Tuesday, while infection rates are skyrocketing, hospital admissions have been comparatively stable. 

While the situation remains serious – particularly in the ICUs in some cantons – overall hospitalisations have not spiked to the same degree as new infections. 

READ MORE: Why hospitalisations in Switzerland are not increasing despite soaring infections


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