The health authorities in Switzerland have decided to limit coronavirus tests to those over 65 or those with existing health problems that pose a higher risk of a deadly outcome. The list of existing health problems includes hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, a weakened immune system or cancer.
In practice, this is likely to mean the majority of the population will go untested. Going forward, the number of cases of coronavirus infection in Switzerland is likely to substantially exceed the number of cases recorded.
To avoid overloading the the health system, those with coronavirus symptoms who don’t qualify for testing are required to self isolate. If their symptoms get worse or result in serious breathing difficulty they should call their doctor or health service.
If you live with other people you should confine yourself to a single room, close the door and eat all of your meals in that room, according to the health authorities.
The self-isolation obligation ends 24 hours after the symptoms end, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The canton of Vaud has created a coronavirus check site that evaluates whether an individual is eligible for a test or not. Those who qualify will be emailed instructions on how to get tested.
The directive leaves doctors with discretion. They can decide to test someone who does not fit the criteria in the testing policy.