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Coronavirus: 17,440 new cases recorded in Switzerland over the weekend

3 days ago

© Fabiobalbi | Dreamstime.com Numbers published today by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) show a further 17,440 tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Switzerland over 72 hours, a daily average of 5,813. Last Monday, the same 72-hour figure was 8,737, roughly half this Monday’s number. Half of Switzerland’s laboratory-confirmed cases since the …

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New Swiss initiative to further restrict construction

4 days ago

© Dnaveh | Dreamstime.com Land use is strictly governed in Switzerland. However, a new initiative, which aims to increase construction restrictions further, recently gathered enough signatures to qualify for a a popular vote. The initiative, dubbed the countryside initiative, was officially registered after gathering 104,487 valid signatures, more than the 100,000 that must be collected …

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Coronavirus: Geneva hospital calls for volunteers as numbers rise rapidly

5 days ago

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com On Sunday 25 October 2020, Geneva’s HUG hospital issued a call for volunteers as the number of Covid-19 patients rises rapidly. The hospital seeks medical, care and administrative volunteers to bolster and relieve their staff. In addition, they seek those who might have recently retired or who are on leave. Bertrand …

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Coronavirus: Germany adds Switzerland to risk list

5 days ago

© Axel Bueckert | Dreamstime.com Today, Germany announced it had added Switzerland to its list of Covid-19 risk countries, effective from 24 October 2020. Until now only certain Swiss cantons were on Germany’s list. The Robert Koch Institut, Germany’s health authority, advises German residents against non-essential travel to Switzerland. Other new additions to Germany’s list …

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New Swiss initiative to further restrict construction

7 days ago

Land use is strictly governed in Switzerland. However, a new initiative, which aims to increase construction restrictions further, recently gathered enough signatures to qualify for a a popular vote.

© Dnaveh | Dreamstime.comThe initiative, dubbed the countryside initiative, was officially registered after gathering 104,487 valid signatures, more than the 100,000 that must be collected within 100 days to qualify for a referendum.

The federal law on land management (LAT/RPG), an earlier land management legal change accepted by referendum by 62.9% of Swiss voters in 2012, is not strict enough according to the initiators of this initiative. In particular it leaves cantons and communes too much wiggle room and is too focused on managing constructible land, they argue.

Pro Natura,

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Coronavirus: false positives rare, according to Swiss experts

7 days ago

© Anyaivanova | Dreamstime.com There is an idea circulating that many of the positive PCR tests results for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Switzerland are false, results which are known as false positives. However, according to experts interviewed by RTS, PCR test false positives are rare. A number of political figures, including some Swiss parliamentarians, have …

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Coronavirus: Switzerland hits new daily record

8 days ago

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com On 21 October 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 5,596, new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 24 hours. The highest daily reported figure during spring was 1,293. A significant increase in testing means infection figures reported over spring are not comparable to today’s numbers. However, the difference in test positivity …

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Coronavirus: Geneva hospital feels strain as number of patients rises

8 days ago

Hai Huy Ton That | Dreamstime.com
In Geneva, the number hospitalised with Covid-19 has reached 134, the highest it has been since the first wave in spring. On Friday 16 October 2020, there were 94 patients. This represents a jump of 43% in 3 days.
Across Switzerland, the picture is similar. On Friday there were 582 Covid-19 patients hospitalised. By Monday, this number had risen to 751, according to data published by RTS, a jump of 29%.
The current trend in hospitalisations is eerily similar to the first wave. On 17 March 2020, there were 551 in hospital. Three days later, there were 841, a jump of 53%.
The rising number of hospitalisations follows a steep rise in infection numbers. Over the weekend a further 8,737 cases were recorded across Switzerland, according

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Coronavirus: rapid tests prove reliable, according to Swiss study

9 days ago

© thanakorn hormniam _ Dreamstime.com SARS-CoV-2 tests that give results in 15 minutes scored well on sensitivity, according to a study by Unisanté in Lausanne, Switzerland. The tests, which involve taking a sample of nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat, test for a protein present in the virus. The main PCR …

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Coronavirus: 14,000 new cases reported this week in Switzerland

10 days ago

© Patrik Slezák | Dreamstime.com On 16 October 2020, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 3,105 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 24 hours, bringing the reported weekly total to 14,054, a figure 135% higher than the week before. Swiss hospitals are admitting more Covid-19 patients. An additional 68 were admitted over the last …

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Coronavirus: new rules from tomorrow as cases rise fast in Switzerland

11 days ago

© David Moreno | Dreamstime.com On 18 October 2020, after an extraordinary meeting, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced masks would become mandatory across all of Switzerland. In addition, certain gatherings of more than 15 people are to be banned and employers are required to follow recommendations for staff to work from home. Since 19 June 2020, …

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Swiss economy to slide less than feared, according to new forecast

11 days ago

© Marekusz | Dreamstime.com An updated forecast published this week by the Switzerland’s federal government is less negative than forecasters feared in the middle of the year. The new forecast expects Swiss GDP adjusted for sporting events to fall by 3.8% in 2020 and unemployment to average 3.2% across the year. The forecast in June …

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Coronavirus: masks sold in Switzerland fail basic tests

13 days ago

Surgical masks © Belish | Dreamstime.com
Only 4 out of the 16 masks sold in Switzerland that were tested passed all three tests conducted by a textile testing company, according to RTS.
The testing, which included tests for air permeability, splash resistance and filtration, was conducted in laboratories run by Testex in Zurich and Vienna at the behest of RTS. Testing followed the standards recommended by the Swiss National Covid-19 Science Taskforce.
There are broadly two kinds of masks used in hospital settings. Surgical masks, which mainly protect those around the wearer, and respirators, which also protect the wearer. These two categories of masks must meet different standards. The photo above shows surgical masks.
The masks worn by the public mainly fall into

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Swiss economy to slide less than feared, according to new forecast

14 days ago

An updated forecast published this week by the Switzerland’s federal government is less negative than forecasters feared in the middle of the year.

© Marekusz | Dreamstime.comThe new forecast expects Swiss GDP adjusted for sporting events to fall by 3.8% in 2020 and unemployment to average 3.2% across the year. The forecast in June 2020, predicted a 6.2% fall in GDP and average unemployment of 3.8%.

After the relaxation of health policy measures, the Swiss economy started to swiftly make up lost ground at the end of April, with both consumer and investment demand exceeding expectations in the second quarter and much lower partial unemployment than anticipated in June. Overall, the first half of 2020 was less negative than assumed in the June forecast.

The forecasters expect the

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Coronavirus: contact tracers now unable to cope in parts of Switzerland

14 days ago

© Anton Anton | Dreamstime.com In parts of Switzerland contact tracers can no longer cope with the rising numbers of cases, according the newspaper SonntagsZeitung. Contact tracers have the task of identifying who has been in contact with people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, contacting those people and requesting they test and self isolate in order …

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Coronavirus: record number of new cases reported in Switzerland

15 days ago

© Xantana | Dreamstime.com On 14 October 2020, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 2,823 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 24 hours, a record number. In addition, FOPH reported 57 new Covid-19 hospital admissions and a further 8 deaths. When the FOPH receives test data it assigns each reported positive test to …

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Swiss National Bank intervenes heavily to weaken Swiss franc

17 days ago

© Michael Müller | Dreamstime.com Official data recently released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) show it sold 51.5 billion Swiss francs while acquiring US dollar and euro-denominated assets in a bid to weaken the franc over the first quarter of 2020. The data followed comments by SNB President Thomas Jordan signalling that even larger …

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Coronavirus: more than 4,000 new cases over 3 days in Switzerland

17 days ago

© Patrik Slezák | Dreamstime.com On 12 October 2020, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 4,068 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 72 hours. The latest 3-day infection figure is 2.6 times the number over the same period a week ago. Switzerland’s 7-day rolling average daily new infection number has jumped from 469 to 1,215 …

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Initiative against Swiss Covid app fails

18 days ago

In July 2020, a group started gathering signatures to launch a public vote to ban Switzerland’s Covid-19 contact tracing app.
To launch a referendum in Switzerland organisers must collect 50,000 signatures from eligible voters within 100 days.
Organisers of the “Stop Swiss Covid” initiative had until 8 October 2020 to collect 50,000 signatures. According to RTS they failed to reach the required signature milestone. When this happens the vote fails to proceed.
The organising committee believes there are risks with the use of Bluetooth technology. In addition, it is concerned that data from the app must go through the operating systems of Google and Apple, which may skim off data.
The organisers claim there was no real debate about the risks it poses. National

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Coronavirus: over 1,000 new cases in a day in Switzerland

19 days ago

© Denis Linine | Dreamstime.com On 7 October 2020, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reported 1,077 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 24 hours. The latest daily infection figure, which is 2.6 time the daily number a week ago. represents a significant jump in daily infections. Switzerland’s 7-day rolling average daily new infection …

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Home vacancy rates continue to rise in Switzerland

21 days ago

Finding a place to rent or buy has never been easy in Switzerland, a real estate market notorious for tight supply of property.

© Rosshelen | Dreamstime.comRecently published data from Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office show are rise in vacancy rates from 1.66% to 1.72% in 2020.

On 1 June 2019, there were 75,383 vacant properties either for rent or purchase across Switzerland. By 1 June 2020, the figure had risen to 78,832, a rise of close to 5%.

Out of the total, 66,320 were available to rent and 12,512 for sale. 6’107 were studios, 12,804 had two rooms, 26’070 had three rooms, 22,665 had 4 rooms 7,223 had 5 rooms and 3,963 had 6 or more.

Vacancy rates varied enormously depending on location. The canton of Geneva had the tightest market overall with a vacancy rate

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Swiss National Bank intervenes heavily to weaken Swiss franc

21 days ago

Official data recently released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) show it sold 51.5 billion Swiss francs while acquiring US dollar and euro-denominated assets in a bid to weaken the franc over the first quarter of 2020.

© Michael Müller | Dreamstime.comThe data followed comments by SNB President Thomas Jordan signalling that even larger interventions may be on the cards in the future.

Switzerland’s long-running battle with its overvalued currency has drawn criticism from the US.

In January 2020, the US Treasury added Switzerland to its “monitoring list”. Those on the list are trading partners whose currency practices merit close attention. It is no secret that the SNB has been actively trying to weaken the Swiss franc, which is widely considered overvalued.

The SNB has long

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Women 62 percent of doctors under 40 in Switzerland

21 days ago

© Kaspars Grinvalds | Dreamstime.com At the end of 2018, there were 23,000 doctors in Switzerland, according to a recently published study. Overall, 41% of these doctors were women. Among doctors aged 60-64, the percentage was 28%. However, 62% of doctors under 40 were women, a figure which partly reflects the higher numbers of women …

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Pandemic increases demand for second homes in Switzerland

24 days ago

© Roland Van Der Meeren | Dreamstime.com Demand for second homes has risen since restrictions related to coronavirus were loosened, according to real estate company Wüest Partner. The option of remote working appears to be encouraging some to trade time in central city locations for more time in Alpine resorts, the countryside, commuter regions and …

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Rising numbers struggling to pay rent in Switzerland

25 days ago

© Ocskay Mark | Dreamstime.com Nearly 44% of renters surveyed said that coming up with the money pay rent is now harder than it was before Covid-19, according to ASLOCA, a renters’ association. Following the survey the organisation is calling for more protection against the cancellation of rental contracts and moratoriums on evictions. The main …

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Pandemic increases demand for second homes in Switzerland

28 days ago

Demand for second homes has risen since restrictions related to coronavirus were loosened, according to real estate company Wüest Partner.

© Roland Van Der Meeren | Dreamstime.comThe option of remote working appears to be encouraging some to trade time in central city locations for more time in Alpine resorts, the countryside, commuter regions and smaller cities.

The prices of second homes have risen 3.6% over the last 12 months, according to firm.

Demand for independent houses in smaller cities, such as Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Sion, have risen too.

Over the longer term a trend towards less commuting and more remote working is possible. As proximity to work becomes less important, homes in commuter regions could become more attractive. A return to nature could reinforce a

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Rising numbers struggling to pay rent in Switzerland

28 days ago

Nearly 44% of renters surveyed said that coming up with the money pay rent is now harder than it was before Covid-19, according to ASLOCA, a renters’ association.

© Ocskay Mark | Dreamstime.comFollowing the survey the organisation is calling for more protection against the cancellation of rental contracts and moratoriums on evictions.

The main reason cited for the current financial difficulties faced when paying rent was falling revenue from fewer hours of work, partial business closure or job losses related to Covid-19.

Among those most a risk of missing rent payments, 49% said they fear their rental contract will be cancelled over the next two years due to late rent payments.

The survey was run online from 14 to 28 September 2020.

More on this:ASLOCA press release (in

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Switzerland adds 18 more regions to its quarantine list

September 29, 2020

© Abdul Sami Haqqani | Dreamstime.com Today, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) added 18 regions to its compulsory quarantine list. Anyone arriving in Switzerland from these place from 28 September 2020 will be required by law to quarantine for 10 days. From 14 September 2020, Switzerland shifted from a system of listing entire …

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