More than 1 in 8 people in Switzerland to catch COVID this summer, experts warn
The head of the now-disbanded National COVID-19 Science Task Force has said she expects over a million people in Switzerland to be infected by the virus over the summer. To curb the spread, Tanja Stadler called for some COVID measures, such as mask-wearing, to return to the alpine nation.
15 percent of the Swiss population to be infected with COVID
Speaking to Blick, Stadler said “that around 15 percent of the population will be infected" with COVID during the wave this summer. The ETH mathematician noted that based on waste-water samples, there are more cases of COVID now than during the winter of 2021. The government now estimates that there are around 80.000 confirmed COVID cases every week.
When asked about whether this means a return to COVID lockdowns to prevent overloaded hospitals, Stadler said that the risk to the healthcare system remains “low” and that the country has never been better prepared to respond to the virus. She also saw no need to bring back COVID certificates as they are “useless with the current vaccines," and confirmed that 97 percent of people in Switzerland now have antibodies they can use to fight the virus.
Task force head calls for COVID mask mandates to return in Switzerland
However, Stadler was hesitant to equate COVID with the seasonal flu, noting that coronavirus causes stronger side effects and has a devastating impact on people who are diagnosed with Long COVID. Unlike the flu, “COVID can evade our immune system so quickly that it can trigger very large waves even in the summer,” she explained.
“If you do not want the number of infections to skyrocket, to prevent Long COVID and to avoid parts of the nation's infrastructure failing due to sick leave, certain protective measures make sense,” she explained. To combat the rise in cases, she called on the government to bring back some form of mask mandate on public transport and “clean air guidance” for Swiss schools, in order to reduce transmission.