A nursing home near Lausanne in the canton of Vaud was recently infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to RTS.
Over a week, five residents died. All of them tested positive for Covid-19. The five deaths do not appear to have been included in Vaud’s official statistics, which show no Covid-19 deaths since 16 August 2020.
The nursing home, which has 48 rooms, has since been locked down, allowing only socially-distanced and end-of-life visits, according to management. Contact with relatives is now being made from balconies and via telephones.
So far a relatively low percentage of overall infections in Switzerland have been among older vulnerable people. This is one reason why Switzerland has experienced a relatively low death rate from the SARS-CoV-2 virus when compared to some other European nations.
For example, in Belgium, where 32% of total recorded cases so far have been among those 70 or older, the case fatality rate (CFR) is high (11.9%). In Switzerland, where a relatively lower 18% of recorded Covid-19 cases so far have been among this age group, the CFR is significantly lower (4.9%).
Since 30 April 2020, infections in Switzerland have shifted further towards younger people. Up until this date, people 70 and over made up 23% of all recorded cases. Since 30 April 2020, this older age group has accounted for less than 6% of all of Switzerland’s recorded cases. This shift is reflected in Switzerland’s lower CFR since then. The CFR was 5.9% on 30 April 2020. Since then it has fallen to 2.3%.
Protecting older vulnerable people from the virus and keeping it out of nursing homes is a critical part of reducing the death toll. However, living with limited social contact is not easy either.