Switzerland has become the fifth European country to report more than 10,000 coronavirus infections after the number increased by nearly 1,000 in the past 24 hours.
The Alpine Ministry of Health has revealed that 10,714 civilians have been infected this morning and warned that this number will continue to rise for at least another week. As many as 161 people have died from the virus in the country.
Italy, with 74,386 cases, Spain, with 56,188 cases, Germany, with 40,585 cases, and France, with 25,604 cases, have all crossed the threshold of 10,000. Each has a much larger population.
The UK reported 9,642 cases yesterday, but this number is also expected to transition to five digits today.
Switzerland today reported nearly 1,000 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 10,714. Shown above is a patient in the hospital at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
The country has conducted the most tests for the virus per capita. Shown above is Geneva Airport, where many planes are stranded due to the outbreak
Switzerland, which has tested most people for COVID-19 per capita, has launched plans to start tracking crowd building via mobile data as it struggles with the outbreak.
The Italian-speaking southern region of Ticino, bordering hard-hit Northern Italy, is the hardest hit of the 26 cantons, with 393 cases per 100,000 people.
About two-fifths of COVID-19 deaths in Switzerland occurred in Ticino.
The first case of the new coronavirus was confirmed on February 24 in Switzerland.
Since then, ‘91,400 tests have been conducted for COVID-19, 14 percent of which were positive, ‘according to the Federal Public Service of Public Health.
Those who tested positive ranged in age from less than one to 102, with a median age of 52 years and an almost even distribution of men and women.
Elsewhere, China, Iran and the United States have also passed the five-digit mark, according to the latest World Health Organization situation report on the global pandemic.
This is the arrivals hall of terminal 1 at Geneva Airport on March 24, which is almost empty
The number of deaths in Italy has fallen slightly since peaking on March 21
The Swiss government has ordered the closure of schools and all leisure activities, including restaurants, bars and non-food shops.
Last Friday, it went ahead and banned all gatherings of more than five people, while anyone closer than six feet to others risks a fine.
“At this point, it is certainly too early to talk about easing restrictions,” Daniel Koch, an official in the Ministry of Health who is leading the Swiss response, said at a news conference in Bern.
“We must first have proof that we have reached the peak of this epidemic – which unfortunately is not yet the case.”
Revelations this week that the majority of state telecommunications operator Swisscom would provide authorities with cell phone data to check whether people were following restrictions at public gatherings sparked a protest.
But Koch said it was not a question of real-time tracking of population movements, but of ‘retrospective analysis’.
Meanwhile, some 3,800 to 4,000 troops – “the totality of the Swiss military’s medical forces” – have been mobilized, said Brigadier General Raynald Droz, chief of staff of the joint command of the army.
The worldwide number of officially registered infections has exceeded 480,000, with more than 21,800 deaths.