This week, 59,503 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Switzerland, up 13% from the 52,470 reported the week before. Daily case numbers on a 7-day average basis now exceed last winter’s peak. The latest 7-day average figure published on 4 December 2021 was 9,390. The peak last winter was 8,061.
Compared to last winter, numbers of hospitalisations and death are lower. Current daily hospitalisation numbers on a 7-day average are around 40% of the peak level last winter and daily deaths around 25% of last year’s peak.
However, even with lower rates of hospitalisation Swiss hospitals are strained. There are 41% fewer free ICU beds now (152) than at the narrowest point last winter (230). With so little reserve ICU capacity the system could quickly become overloaded.
Despite 45% fewer Covid-19 ICU patients (289) than at last winter’s peak (525) ICU resources are tighter. This is because there are now 25% fewer ICU places and 17% more non-Covid patients in ICU.
In a press release this week, the Swiss Nursing Association sounded the alarm on ICU overload. It said that if significant effective measures were not taken rapidly, doctors would be forced to choose which patients would receive treatment and which would not.
The unvaccinated continue to make up the majority of those hospitalised. The latest numbers show that only 27% of those being hospitalised are fully vaccinated, a group that now makes up close to 90% of those aged 60 or more.
Tighter measures aimed at reducing viral transmission came into force on Monday 6 December 2021 in Switzerland.