This week saw new Covid-19 cases rise 13% in Switzerland. Over the seven days to 2 April 2021, Switzerland reported 13,125 new Covid-19 cases.
The 7-day average is currently 1,875 new daily cases, up from 1,658 last week.
At the same time deaths have declined from 87 last week to 52 this week. One driver of declining deaths is vaccination. Like most nations, Switzerland started vaccinating its oldest and most vulnerable residents first so many of those most likely to die from Covid-19 have now been vaccinated.
By 1 April 2021, 6.7% of the population was fully vaccinated, up from 5.9% a week earlier. This week, the number of doses administered per 100 people rose from 15.6 to 17.8, putting Switzerland slightly ahead of the EU (17.0 per 100) but well behind the UK (52.5) and US (45.9).
So far all those over 75 living in Switzerland’s nursing homes along with staff working in these homes have been offered two shots. In addition, the health authorities are aiming to vaccinate all those over 65 and those with certified health issues by the second half of April.
However, even with the most vulnerable vaccinated, with so many unvaccinated, overloading hospitals remains a risk. The chance of needing hospital is much higher than the chance of dying once there.
A Covid-19 risk calculator produced by the Economist1 shows that while a 50 year old male with no underlying medical conditions might have only a 0.4% chance of dying from Covid-19, they would have a 8.5% chance of being hospitalised. Even at 30, a male with no underlying medical conditions has a 2.7% chance of being hospitalised despite a less than 0.1% chance of death.
In an interview with RTS, Laurent Kaiser, head of infectious disease at Geneva’s HUG hospital, said he had observed a shift towards younger Covid-19 patients as vaccination of the elderly takes effect and UK variant, which he described as a little bit more agressive, gains ground. Kaiser is also concerned that gatherings such as the crowds celebrating in Moutier following last weekend’s vote might cause localised surges in infection.
For the moment, 27% of hospital beds remain available across Switzerland so the situation is not critical. By 2 April 2021 there were 926 Covid-19 patient hospitalised in Switzerland of which 162 were in intensive care.
By the end of this week, at 1.12, Switzerland’s reproduction was still in the growth range. 24 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons currently have a reproduction rate of 1 or above.
1 Based on data drawn from 425,000 people in America who tested positive for the disease between May and December 2020.