Left Menu
Development News Edition

'Overwhelming' COVID second wave floods Swiss hospitals

Swiss hospitals are scrambling to cope with a surge in new COVID-19 patients, bringing back retired staff to replace sick frontline workers and closing other wards as officials warn they could reach breaking point in about 10 days. Case numbers in Switzerland have risen to record levels this month, with infection rates far exceeding those in neighbours Germany and Italy.

Reuters | Updated: 28-10-2020 14:39 IST | Created: 28-10-2020 14:30 IST
'Overwhelming' COVID second wave floods Swiss hospitals
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI

Swiss hospitals are scrambling to cope with a surge in new COVID-19 patients, bringing back retired staff to replace sick frontline workers and closing other wards as officials warn they could reach breaking point in about 10 days.

Case numbers in Switzerland have risen to record levels this month, with infection rates far exceeding those in neighbours Germany and Italy. The government is expected to announce new measures on Wednesday but has been criticised by medics and scientists for being too reluctant to impose strict nationwide rules.

At Geneva's University Hospital (HUG), in one of the worst-hit cantons, cases have increased more than six-fold in three weeks to 350 patients. "Everyone expected a second wave, but no one to my knowledge expected it to be so wild and so severe," director Bertrand Levrat told Reuters.

"Today, this wave is going to be probably bigger, maybe much bigger than the first wave," he said, describing a strained situation with exhausted medics and more than 400 COVID infections among staff. To cope, his facility is cutting elective surgeries, moving patients to private clinics and has called on retired workers even though they would be in the age bracket more vulnerable to the virus.

Nationally, about a third of intensive care units remain available but will be filled in the next ten days if the current infection rate persists, government delegate for the Coordinated Medical Services Andreas Stettbacher said on Tuesday. Similar warnings were issued earlier this year during the first outbreak, but then hospitals, propped up by army reservists, largely coped and many had spare capacity.

The situation is different this time around, doctors say. Marie Assouline Reinmann, a doctor at HUG, is concerned that complacency and scepticism about restrictions could lead to a spike in the number of infections.

"I fear that people take the situation less seriously and that it gets worse and worse here at the hospital," she said. "I would like people to realize that this second wave is here and it is already overwhelming us."

Confirmed cases in Switzerland and neighbouring Liechtenstein have surpassed 127,000, with a death toll above 1,900.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

India sees itself as Nepal's 'foremost friend and development partner', says Shringla

India and Nepal are on the same page and share the same vision, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday, as he underlined that New Delhi sees itself as the Himalayan nations foremost friend and development partner in its que...

TMC MLA Mihir Goswami resigns from party, to join BJP soon

Disgruntled TMC MLA Mihir Goswami, who left for New Delhi with BJP MP Nisith Pramanik on Friday morning, has resigned from the primary membership of the Bengals ruling party. The legislator said he is likely to join the saffron party soon.T...

Saudi Arabia has suspended Turkish meat imports - Turkish union

Saudi Arabia formally suspended imports of meat, eggs and other products from Turkey earlier this month, the Turkish exporters union said, after a months-long informal boycott of Turkish goods over political tensions between the two regiona...

India to achieve 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022: Kant

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Friday said India is on course to achieve the target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. India is one of the top 5 renewable energy countries in the world by capacit...

Give Feedback