connect, grow & thrive.

Coronavirus/Covid-19 Update – March 6th

To date over 100 000 people have been infected worldwide and 3400 people have died from the virus. There currently are 210 known cases of people ill with the virus in Switzerland and one person has died, but these numbers are bound to grow.

Speculation is that 50% of all cases will happen within 5 weeks of the first case being reported in a country and 95% within 9 weeks. In China the number of cases has flatlined whilst it continues to grow in the rest of the world.

President Alain Berset said that we are currently at the beginning phase of contagion and that it is almost certain that there will be an epidemic in Switzerland.

As well as adopting a “social distancing” attitude, i.e. not shaking hands or kissing people upon greeting them, people should avoid public transport during rush hours. Employers should allow their employees to have more flexible hours.

It is thought that the virus is passed from person to person who are within less than 2 meters of each other and spend more than 15 minutes together.

Because young people in general are showing little to no symptoms they should refrain from visiting hospitals or old people’s home so as not to pass the infection on.

Should people have only light symptoms they should self-isolate and not go to the doctor’s or the emergency ward, especially on weekends.

On monday all healthy children should return to school. It is not recommended to have grandparents looking after the children whilst the parents work, as the virus is most harmful to people over the ages of 65.

The Covid-19 virus spreads much faster than the common flu virus. The military has been called in to help fight the virus, two military ambulances with crew have already made their way to the Tessin to help out there and the military is on standby should they be required to help in other cantons.

Swiss airline is offering a free rebooking service until March 31st for tickets that were valid until April 30th. These can be rebooked for free until December 2020.

Events with more than 1000 people continue to be forbidden until March 15th. All other events need to get a permit from the town here. Some events have been canceled whilst others will go ahead. The list is here.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.