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Nikhi Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 14, 2024  1 month, 1 week, 3 days, 23 hours, 41 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: In Switzerland Where The WHO Headquarters Is Located, Hospitalizations Have Surpassed The Omicron Wave!

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COVID-19 News: In Switzerland Where The WHO Headquarters Is Located, Hospitalizations Have Surpassed The Omicron Wave!
Nikhi Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 14, 2024  1 month, 1 week, 3 days, 23 hours, 41 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: Data from the Swiss health authorities which is not easy to decipher from their website and dashboard as with other governments controlled by the WEF, their main aim is to mislead and confuse the masses that everything is ok and that COVID-19 is no threat and that the vaccines work effectively…is however showing that hospitalizations in the country have surpassed the Omicron wave!
(click on Graphiques, click Cas severes)

Hospitalizations In Switzerland have surpassed the Omicron Wave!

Switzerland, nestled in the heart of Europe and home to the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters, is grappling with a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases. This resurgence, marked by heightened hospitalizations, prompts a closer examination of the multifaceted landscape of the pandemic in the country. From changes in testing policies to vaccination efforts, the emergence of new variants, and shifts in preventive measures, the intricate interplay between the virus and society unfolds. This COVID-19 News report delves deeper into the current COVID-19 situation in Switzerland, offering a comprehensive exploration of the myriad factors at play.
The Current Wave - SARS-CoV-2 Dominance and Respiratory Viruses
Since mid-December 2023, Switzerland has found itself ensnared in a robust COVID-19 wave, with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reporting a notable surge in cases. SARS-CoV-2 takes center stage, circulating vigorously alongside rhinoviruses, RS viruses, and influenza, according to the FOPH. The impact on hospitals is substantial, with hospitalizations surpassing those witnessed during the Omicron wave, underscoring the severity of the situation.
Masking Brough Back At Hospitals As Hospitals Become Overwhelmed
The escalating situation has prompted swift actions to curb the spread of the virus. Notably, as a few weeks ago, protective face masks have become mandatory at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the Neuchâtel Hospital Network (RHNe). This move underscores the urgency of the situation and the proactive measures taken to protect both healthcare professionals and patients.
Hospitals across the country are grappling with the surge in COVID-19 cases, a phenomenon expected during this time of the year. However, certain medical institutions are reporting an exceptionally tense situation. Fribourg Hospital (HFR) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) have found themselves compelled to transfer patients due to the influx of new cases.
Valeria Rincon-Cimorelli, the head of the paediatric clinic at HUG, expressed the challenges faced by paediatric units. She stated, "If a child needs to be hospitalized, we will find a place or, at worst, we will transfer them t o another hospital." This reflects the strain on medical facilities, prompting strategic decisions to ensure the best care for patients, even if it means relocation to other healthcare institutions.
The Neuchâtel Hospital Network (RHNe) has taken additional measures, including the postponement of several surgical operations due to a shortage of beds required for patient isolation. Muriel Desaulles, president of the RHNe board of directors, highlighted the unique challenges faced this winter, noting, "During this winter period, it is a situation that we often observe… but this year, we are still dealing with a conjunction of the presence of viruses." She emphasized that compared to the previous year, there is a notable increase in cases, further accentuating the severity of the current wave.
The response to the surge has been reflected in the increased adherence to preventive measures. Two weeks ago, the Biel Hospital Center reintroduced mandatory mask-wearing. Similarly, at CHUV and RHNe, masks are now obligatory for all visitors and patients within care areas. Starting Thursday, the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) will implement similar mask mandates, further underscoring the importance of these preventive measures in mitigating the spread of the virus.
Outpatient consultations in both Switzerland and Liechtenstein have observed a surge in respiratory infections since the beginning of the season. This points to a broader impact of the current wave, extending beyond hospitalizations to affect overall healthcare services.

Impact of Testing Policy Changes: Unraveling the Data
The number of new lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections witnessed a notable decline after federal authorities stopped covering the costs of tests on January 1, 2023. The FOPH anticipates a corresponding reduction in test volumes and an increase in estimated unrecorded cases. Consequently, SWI has decided to suspend the update of weekly COVID-19 infections and related graphics until further notice. Delays in data transmission and retroactive corrections may explain some discrepancies in the figures, highlighting the intricate nature of interpreting pandemic data.
Monitoring New Variants - The Case of BA.2.86
The global scientific community is closely monitoring a highly mutated COVID-19 variant named BA.2.86, detected in Switzerland and a few other countries. Although it was found in wastewater, scientists worldwide continue to downplay the likelihood of a devastating wave of severe disease and death. The collective immunity built up globally through vaccinations and prior infections stands as a significant defense against such variants. These dynamics underscore the intricate balance between monitoring emerging variants and the broader global efforts to combat the pandemic.
Vaccination Recommendations and Strategies
The FOPH and the Federal Commission for Vaccinations (FCV) advocate for a proactive approach to vaccination, particularly targeting vulnerable groups. The call extends to individuals over 65, those aged 16 and older with pre-existing illnesses or Down syndrome, and pregnant women with pre-existing conditions. Emphasizing the ongoing circulation of the coronavirus, the agencies stress the potential for severe COVID-19 in these vulnerable populations. While other groups are not subject to official vaccination recommendations, the FOPH notes the low probability of severe disease for those without risk factors. Notably, vaccination remains an option for those willing to pay, presenting a nuanced facet of the country's vaccination strategy.
Evolving Preventive Measures: A Post-April 1, 2022 Landscape
Switzerland experienced a significant milestone on April 1, 2022, as all remaining COVID-19 prevention measures were lifted. Masks are no longer mandatory on public transport, and the five-day isolation requirement for positive cases has been abolished. Health-related restrictions for incoming travelers were also lifted in February 2022. These changes signify the government's reassessment of the overall pandemic situation, transitioning towards a more open and less restrictive societal environment.
Virus Situation Post-Summer 2023- A Comparative Shift
Post-summer 2023, the global landscape witnessed a rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the United States, Europe, and Asia. However, these numbers remained well below the peaks experienced in previous years. The FOPH notes a significant shift in the probability of a serious form of COVID-19 among individuals under 65 without risk factors. The risk is minimal for this demographic, but it remains significantly higher for vulnerable populations, necessitating targeted measures to protect those at greater risk.
Antibody Development and Long-COVID Concerns
Approximately 97% of Switzerland's population, totaling 8.7 million, has developed antibodies against the virus through vaccination or infection. Despite this high level of immunity, concerns persist about the long-term consequences of the pandemic, commonly referred to as long-COVID. Reported symptoms include fatigue, mental stress, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, concentration and memory problems, as well as chest or other pains. This underscores the importance of not only managing acute cases but also addressing the potential lingering effects of the virus on individuals.
Conclusion - Navigating the Intricacies of the Pandemic
As Switzerland navigates the complexities of a renewed COVID-19 surge, the intertwined factors of testing policies, vaccination strategies, new variants, and evolving preventive measures come into focus. The government's decisions reflect an adaptive response to the changing dynamics of the pandemic, emphasizing the need for a nuanced and multifaceted approach. With ongoing challenges and the specter of long-COVID, Switzerland exemplifies the delicate balance required in managing a public health crisis of global proportions, urging continued vigilance, robust vaccination efforts, and collaborative global action in the ongoing fight against the virus.
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