This week, 194,679 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Switzerland, up 18% from the 164,333 cases reported a week earlier. Given the high contagiousness of Omicron, which now dominates (89%) in Switzerland, the real number of cases could be significantly higher.
This week, 468 people were reported hospitalised with Covid-19 in Switzerland, slightly above the level reported the week before, although the latest figures are likely to rise once data collection catches up with reality. At the same time, the number of severe cases has fallen. Last week, there were 257 Covid-19 patients in ICU. The latest report shows 235, a fall of 9%. Although, again this number could rise as the data catches up.
Across the week, 86 Covid-19 related deaths were reported, a figure close to the number last week (89).
Philippe Eckert, directer at the CHUV hospital in Lausanne said that the situation had begun to stabilise but at an extremely high level. Across Switzerland Covid-19 patients still make up around 28% of ICU patients and ICUs are running at 82% of capacity, a higher level than the 77% a week ago.
Stabilisation of hospital numbers may partly be down to the lower virulence of Omicron. According to RTS, there is evidence that suggests Omicron is landing fewer people in ICU. At the HUG hospital in Geneva, only two patients with Omicron were in intensive care. At hospitals in Lausanne, Bern and Zurich there were no ICU Omicron patients. Basel hospital did not distinguish between the different variants and so was unable to respond to the question. However, the head of the ICU in Geneva said it was a bit too soon to draw conclusions. According to him it typically takes two or three weeks for patients to end up in intensive care.
In addition, currently half of the patients entering hospital have been infected with Omicron, adding to the strain on hospitals.