The challenge now facing Switzerland is hospital capacity. Hospitals could reach overload within 5 days, said Virginie Masserey of the FOPH.
There are currently 3,371 Covid-19 patients in hospitals across Switzerland, according to FOPH figures published by RTS. This figure has grown 6-fold over the last 3 weeks and is 40% above the peak of the first wave of 2,388 reached on 2 April 2020.
Yesterday, 73% of Switzerland’s intensive care beds were occupied, according to SRF.
Deaths are rising too. Over the past 30 days, 535 have died, of which 474 are laboratory-confirmed cases. These figures are similar to those in March 2020. In the month that followed, a further 1,140 people perished.
In addition, both the hospitalisation and death curves have steepened in recent weeks. Over the last 7 days, hospitalisations jumped 47%. During the first 7 days of October 2020 hospitalisations rose 34%. Deaths have accelerated too jumping from 13 in the first week of October to 229 over the last 7 days. Daily Covid deaths are now running at a similar rate to March 2020.
The high case numbers reported recently are concerning. Hospitalisation and mortality numbers trail these figures by a number of days because of the time it takes for severe cases to reach hospital. Ignoring those suffering from Long Covid, Switzerland currently has 7 times more known active cases than it had in March 2020. During the first wave, active cases peaked at 14,294. Currently, there are around 103,000. A 3-fold increase in testing means potentially more of the infected are being found now than in March, however, a 7-fold increase in active cases remains concerning.
Nicolas Blondel, a doctor at Fribourg hospital, said it is time to stop believing those who say everything is fine….this is the last chance to take action, he said. Covid is not the flu and we are heading towards a health catastrophe. The only effective treatment for the virus is to break transmission, said the doctor on social media.