This week, Switzerland’s Covid figures continued to improve.
Over the seven days to 19 February 2021, Switzerland reported 7,048 new positive Covid-19 cases and 133 deaths. The number of daily cases reported in Switzerland over the same period averaged 1,006, a figure 20% lower than the daily reported average of 1,265 reported the week before.
The current infection rate is back to where it was in early October 2020, before numbers took off. The added concern today is the emergence of faster spreading strains. Currently 46% of infections are with potentially more problematic variants.
The reproduction rate reported this week was 0.88, sightly lower than last week when it was 0.89%. Only the cantons of Schaffhausen (1.23), Obwalden (1.22), Neuchâtel (1.19) and Thurgau (1.03) had rates above 1, the rate at which case numbers grow.
However, the strain on intensive care units (ICU) remains very high in some regions. The cantons of Solothurn (100%), Valais (82%) and Aargau (82%) are at or close to their ICU capacity limits. Average Swiss-wide ICU occupancy is 69%, down from 70% last week. Nation-wide, 22% of ICU beds were occupied by Covid patients.
By 19 February 2021, 137,734 people (1.6% of the population) had been fully vaccinated and 613,346 doses of vaccine had been administered in Switzerland, according to FOPH.
Some hoped vaccination programmes might allow nations to relatively quickly put the Covid-19 pandemic behind them. However, reality is beginning to bite. For example, the Economist Intelligence Unit, currently expects that it will be mid-2022 before most developed countries have immunised 60-70% of their populations.
In Switzerland, an average of 18,703 vaccinations per day were done this week, a rate 16% above last week’s 16,191 per day. At the current rate it would take until the end of 2022 to vaccinate 70% of Switzerland’s population, assuming two doses per person.