This week, 208,542 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Switzerland, down 8% from the 226,080 cases reported a week earlier. Also, the reported number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised dropped 3% from 533 to 518 across the week.
In addition, the reported number Covid-19 patients in intensive care (ICU) in Switzerland fell 8% from 210 to 194 over the last 7 days.
Across the week, 86 Covid-19 related deaths were reported, a figure 32% higher than the 65 reported the week before. Peaks in deaths tend to trail behind peaks in case numbers.
This week the Swiss government eased restrictions by making working from home a recommendation rather than a requirement and by removing the need to quarantine for those in contact with someone infected unless they are infected themselves.
Based on the data it appears that Switzerland may have reached a peak in the number of infections. In England, infections peaked in January 2022, according to official data. However now, case numbers there appear to be rising again, not based on official data but based on the Zoe data base, which collects realtime information from around 800,000 people.
The Zoe database, which tends to be ahead of official statistics, shows cases rising again, especially among those aged 18 and under. At the same time, Covid-19 ICU hospital patient numbers continue to fall in England. According to Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at Zoe, the fall in hospitalisations mirrors the shift towards to the Omicron variant.
Zoe data also show that the Omicron variant has different symptoms to earlier variants. According to Spector, fewer brain related symptoms, such as brain fog and altered smell, are being reported. The top symptoms now are runny nose (74%), headache (68%), fatigue (63%), sore throat (63%) and sneezing (61%). Only 23% report brain fog and 21% altered smell.
In addition, Spector said that “Omicron is shorter, a third of cases recover within three days compared to 15% with Delta, and currently 70% of people with Omicron recover within a week compared to 44% of those with Delta”. The epidemiologist does stress that we should not to forget Long Covid. Spector’s full update can be viewed here on YouTube.