In the week to 11 September 2020, the reported number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections recorded in Switzerland was 2,707, 24% higher than the 2,186 cases recorded the week before. The total number of recorded cases stood at 46,239 by 11 September 2020.
The 7-day rolling average number of daily new cases this week was 387, up from 312 the week before. The daily number published today was 528.
Infection rates per 100,000 in Switzerland are 57 and 32 over the last 14 and 7 days. Switzerland is close to exceeding its own definition of a high risk region of 60 infections per 100,000 over 14 days.
By 11 September, 2,020 deaths had been recorded in Switzerland – this figure differs from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) number of 1,740. The FOPH number excludes clinically diagnosed cases included in numbers published by cantonal health authorities.
On Wednesday, Germany added Geneva and Vaud to their list of risk areas – full list (in German). German residents are not banned from visiting these parts of Switzerland, however they are advised against doing so.
Belgium has banned its residents from travelling to the canton of Fribourg. and recommends increased vigilance when travelling to the cantons of Vaud, Bern, Geneva, Solothurn, Neuchâtel, Basel-Stadt, Zürich, Schwyz and Zug.
The recent rate of Covid-19 deaths has been relatively low in Switzerland compared to the initial wave of infections in March and April 2020. 7 deaths were recorded this week and only 100 deaths have occurred since the end of May, a period that saw 15,377 cases, which represents a third of total recorded infections.
One reason for the relatively low death rate since May 2020 is the incomparability of current infection case numbers with those earlier in the year. In March and April, rationed testing was picking up only the tip of the infection iceberg.
An antibody study done in Geneva in May 2020 suggests fewer than 1 in 10 infections had been picked up. Possibly 10.8% of the Geneva’s population, roughly 54,000 people, had been infected by 9 May 2020, estimated the study. However, by that date, only 5,200 cases had been recorded in the canton, suggesting for every case recorded there were another 9.4 unrecorded cases. With increased testing since May a higher percentage of actual cases are making their way into the recorded case number.
A study in the UK reached a similar conclusion, according to the BBC. It suggests the real number of daily cases in the UK at the end of March might have been 100,000, rather the roughly 5,000 daily cases recorded at the time, a detection rate of 1 in 20. In addition, a study published several weeks ago estimated that 6% of England’s public had been infected, a rate far higher than the 0.5% implied by the official case number.
So comparing March and April infection numbers to current figures is highly misleading. There are a number of other reasons behind the lower rate too, such as the changing profile of those infected.
However, something that is clear is that the number of cases is rising again.