This week the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported1 607 Covid-19 deaths, 11% more than last week (548). Switzerland’s Covid-19 death toll has reached 6,541 (6,003 confirmed positive). Tragically, a significant number of people in Switzerland will be grieving lost family members this Christmas.
Switzerland’s hospitalised Covid-19 patient numbers, while below November’s peak, remain high. There are currently 2,936 hospitalised, a figure similar to the end of last week (2,997). Swiss hospitals and their staff are entering their eighth week of being stretched. 75% of ICU beds were in use on 17 December 2020.
In addition, the number of reported cases is on the rise again. The average number of daily new cases over the last 7 days has risen to around 4,300, up from 4,200 a week earlier. 4,478 new cases were reported on 18 December 2020.
Test positivity has fallen, suggesting more of the actual cases have been detected over the last 14 days. PCR test positivity over the last 14 days was 16.3%. Over the last 28 days the percentage was 17.2%.
On 18 December 2020, Switzerland’s 14-day infection rate was 665 per 100,000, 7% higher the prior week (622). However, there are wide differences across the country. In some cantons cases have fallen and in others they have risen.
The cantons with the highest 14-day infection rates per 100,000 are St. Gallen (957) and Ticino (913) – rates rose this week in these cantons. Rates in Geneva (410) and Vaud (457) fell further this week. The rate in Zurich (736) rose by 26% this week – all data from FOPH.
1FOPH’s daily reported death figures include delays. This means that some of the deaths reported on a particular day occurred over the preceding days. At the same time assigned daily deaths (reported deaths that have been assigned to the actual day of death rather than the reporting date) understate deaths over recent days because many recent deaths have not yet been reported. Both measures are imperfect. Le News has chosen reported deaths. While reported deaths contain a lag, unlike assigned daily deaths, they do not suffer from missing deaths in recent days.