February 2020 Covid-19 Coronavirus Zurich Switzerland In English

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February 2020 Coronavirus Zurich Switzerland Updates

Saturday February 1st 2020 Week 1

3.02.2020 – Swiss extends flight cancellations to China – COVID-19 Coronavirus precaution to prevent spread of the virus

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and its parent company Lufthansa will ground planes to and from China for longer than originally planned owing to the coronavirus.

Lufthansa said in a press release that Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines flights would be suspended to and from Beijing and Shanghai until February 29 with immediate effect. Initially the flights had been suspended until February 9.

No cases have been reported in Switzerland to date. 

A suspected case of coronavirus on board a flight to Zurich from New York turned out to be a regular case of seasonal flu, according to Zurich police.

The plane was temporarily put in quarantine in Zurich for a few hours before passengers were allowed to disembark.

Meanwhile, an information hotline set up by the health authorities last week appears to meet limited public interest. It is early days and Medgate should expect there to be more calls than there were for the Swine flu in 2009 when there reportedly less than 5000 for all of Switzerland.

4.02.2020 – Swatch cancels “Time to Move” event in Zurich

Swatch Group decided to call off its event due to take place at the end of February, amid fears over the new coronavirus outbreak.

“Considering the uncertainty related to the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus outbreak, and in order to guarantee the welfare of our guests, partners, and colleagues, Swatch Group has decided not to hold the Time to Move event,” Swatch told the AWP news agency on Tuesday.

A presentation to suppliers was due to be held in Zurich from February 28 to March 2, followed by a press event from March 4-6.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week declared the flu-like virus a global emergency.

No cases have been reported in Switzerland, it is a good move by the company to ensure risks to their clients and their staff are minimised.

Saturday February 8th 2020 Week 2

14.02.2020 – Swiss suspends all flights to and from China

After evaluating all available information on the coronavirus, SWISS decided to extend flight suspensions to/from Beijing and Shanghai until 28 March. In addition, SWISS will reduce capacities to/from Hong Kong, by operating its flights with an A340-300 instead of a B777-300ER.

Swiss Newsroom – Twitter – Lufthansa News

Saturday February 15th 2020 Week 2

Saturday February 22nd 2020 Week 3 to month end

24.02.2020 – Increased Border Checks

As news from Italy became more serious the Swiss authorities have decided to increase controls and checks especially on the Swiss/Italian border. 

Tests for the Covid-19 virus are readily available and unlike other countries, the  testing centres are prepared for a surge in new test requests. 

At the start of the week, Monday 24th February, Interior Minister Alain Berset announced that the Swiss government were in regular contact with the various health authorities in neighbouring countries and beyond.

Federal and cantonal are aligned whilst he and the Federal authorities participate in the larger European health alarm and response system.

As of Monday the 24th Feb, less than 400 people had been tested but it was expected to grow in the coming weeks as school holidays end and people who have been away on business return back to Switzerland. 

The cross-border commuters are a concern as well which has prompted border guards to increase the number of vehicle checks. They total over 250,000 people who cross the border from France, Germany, Austria and Italy every day. It is a concern to be monitored closely but is not viewed by the Federal authorities as a major concern. 

24.02.2020 – Reported figures for the first time by Federal Health Department for Covid-19 Coronavirus

New Cases testing positive – 1

Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital today – 5

Cumulative total cases  in hospital   – 5

The figures leave more questions than answers but it means the virus has a presence in Switzerland and care is needed from today. 

25.02.2020 – Reported figures by Federal Health Department for Covid-19 Coronavirus

New Cases testing positive – 1

Cumulative positive cases in Switzerland – 2 

Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital today – 4

Cumulative total cases  in hospital   – 9

The trickle has started so hospitals will be careful looking forwards as all eyes have been on Italy up to now. 

25.02.2020 – University Hospital of Zurich (USZ) issues German press release on COVID-19 Coronavirus preparedness

Since the first reports of the spread of COVID-19 in China at the beginning of the year, preparations at the USZ for the admission and assessment of patients suspected of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 or suffering from COVID-19 have been underway.

All processes for the admission, diagnosis and care of patients have been reviewed and adapted.

Preparations also include the ongoing restocking of material stocks and training of all employees who will be responsible for patient care.

To prepare for a possible increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the hospital’s processes are now being examined in detail to create the necessary capacity for any potential surge.

All processes and points of clarification will be made in consultation with the close co-operation of the cantonal health department.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 are to be placed in isolation. The coronavirus ( COVID-19 – SARS-CoV-2 )  is transmitted via droplets.

It is therefore generally sufficient to keep sufficient distance from a patient and not to touch any objects to which viruses could adhere.

Nursing staff and doctors protect themselves with a disposable coat, gloves, mask and glasses. All employees who come into contact with the patient are trained in the use of these protective measures. 

Link to University Hospital of Zurich press release in German

26.02.2020 – Reported figures by Federal Health Department for Covid-19 Coronavirus

New Cases testing positive – 10

Cumulative positive cases in Switzerland – 12 

Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital today – 8

Cumulative total cases  in hospital   – 17

The news stations are now picking up and reporting the corona virus presence in Switzerland more. In some news broadcasts it was not mentioned on SRF today.

University Hospital Zurich (USZ) released an advisory that it did not carry out screenings for people without without symptoms. It was not a test centre and you must first call the following public telephone hotlines:

  • Hotline des BAG (8 – 18 Uhr) ​058 463 00 00 ​
  • ​Zürcher AERZTEFON ​0800 33 66 55

Links to:

Zurich Department of Health – English language resources

Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) – English language resources

26.02.2020 -COVID-19 – Coronavirus – Pharmacy / Apotheke – some reporting short supply / no masks

A number of pharmacies were contacted to check availability of facemasks, one in Stadelhofen was sold out and did not know when it would get a new supply this week. Five others reported a shortage in stock due to a rush from people buying them after the weekend. Should you need a mask, they are still available but you may need to do some telephoning or walking. 

A pharmacist did advise that “they are not really stock items” so not having them does not mean they cannot get them. Most people simply walked into the pharmacy / Apotheke, asked him if he had some to sell and then walked out. They did not stay long enough for any explanation or to be told they could order and have it soon, in his words just like Amazon or Zalando!  

27.02.2020 – Reported figures by Federal Health Department (BAG) for Covid-19 Coronavirus

New Cases testing positive – 10

Cumulative positive cases in Switzerland – 22

Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital today – 4

Cumulative total cases  in hospital   – 21

The news stations report many cases relate to the elderly.

Links to:

Zurich Department of Health – English language resources

Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) – English language resources

The discrepancy on Federal reporting and other testing positive reports from the canton mean adjustments will be made at month end to the figures to align with federal figures. This is confirmed by the Telezueri new report saying there are only 6 cases today. 

 

27.02.2020 – Events across Switzerland are being cancelled

One huge one is the Engadin Ski marathon.

It is a classic event and one which many will have planned to participate in.

To overcome the disappointment many will have to eat more Engadiner Nusstorte. A calorific bomb worthy of respect and total personal guilt trip enjoyment!  

27.02.2020 – 6th Case Confirmed In Zurich

Cantonal authorities have confirmeda 30-year-old woman, who traveled to Milan a week ago, had been infected by the coronavirus bringing the total cases in Switzerland to six.

The woman is hospitalised at Triemli and awaiting further test results from Geneva. Those people who she associated with are already in quarantine whilst a search and enquiries are being made as to others who she was in contact with since returning back to Switzerland.

She originally felt ill and was then examined by her house doctor which was against the health guidelines and advisory which has made the search for those she has been in contact with a little more difficult. 

Please read the full statement here in German.

Link to local TV station in Zurich TeleZueri broadcasting in German

 

28.02.2020 – Reported figures by Federal Health Department (BAG) for Covid-19 Coronavirus

New Cases testing positive – 10

Cumulative positive cases in Switzerland – 32

Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital today – 5

Cumulative total cases  in hospital   – 26

Links to:

Zurich Department of Health – English language resources

Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) – English language resources

28.02.2020 – Google – Alphabet Inc – Zurich Employee tested positive 

Google employee in Zurich office tests positive for coronavirus and Google restricts staff travel over outbreak concerns. The newspaper reports that the infected person had been in the Zurich office for a limited time before they had any symptoms.

Link to Daily Mail Article

28.02.2020 – Other News  and Event or Concert Cancellations in Switzerland

Switzerland today cancelled football matches, carnival celebrations, concerts and the Geneva International Motor Show in a drastic bid to stem the country’s new coronavirus outbreak in its early stages.

McLaren Automotive Ltd were quick to act taking to social media inviting you to join them for the #McLarenMotorShow broadcast live from MTC in Woking. this is a direct result of the cancellation of the Geneva motor show.

08:30 GMT / 09:30 CET on Tuesday 3 March 2020.

Full press conference including world premier of the next chapter in the McLaren LT story will be live here 

The Swiss government announced it was suspending all public and private events with more than 1,000 participants until at least March 15, invoking emergency powers to do so. 

This has resulted in the cancellation of a number of concerts including major names such as Alice Cooper and Carlos Santana. Some carnival events will also not go ahead this year so watch the news and read the local event bulletins.

Sam Fender’s Switzerland show is also cancelled due to Coronavirus outbreak. The ‘Dead Boys’ singer joins a long list of other musicians forced to cancel his show in Zurich for March 1st.

All football matches this weekend have been postponed, whilst the Swiss ice hockey league said matches would go ahead but without any supporters at the rink.

28.02.2020 – In Switzerland, 15 people have tested positive for the new virus. Overnight the figures were updated with an addition for Zurich. 

More than 100 people are in quarantine across Switzerland 

Confirmed cases in cantons include:

  • Ticino
  • Geneva
  • Zurich
  • Basel-City 

All have contracted the disease abroad and returned or travelled to Switzerland.

To the German language article written by NZZ online

( use translation tools such as Google Translate or Deepl for your own local language)

Group members report:

A number of colleagues or they themselves who have been to Italy or China recently are in self-isolation because the employer wants them to work from home. The period of homeworking is 7 to 10 days (different employers have their own policies).  

29.02.2020 – Reported figures by Federal Health Department (BAG) for Covid-19 Coronavirus

New Cases testing positive – 13

Cumulative positive cases in Switzerland – 45

Covid-19 cases admitted to hospital today – 12

Cumulative total cases  in hospital   – 38

Links to:

Zurich Department of Health – English language resources

Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) – English language resources

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