This week, 13,983 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Switzerland, an increase of 35% compared to the 10,386 cases registered the week before. On a 7-day moving average, the number of new cases a day was 1,998.
This week, the number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 was slightly lower than the week before. 165 Covid-19 patients with Covid-19 were hospitalized in the last 7 days, compared to 178 in the previous 7 days. Recent hospital admissions numbers suffer from a significant time lag. The previous week’s hospital admissions rose from 119 to 178 (+ 50%) after the information was received and the records were updated. Once the numbers are in for that week, they will likely go up.
This week, Covid-19 deaths were in decline. 21 deaths were recorded in the last 7 days compared with 40 in the last 7 days. There is also a time lag with these numbers. Deaths jumped from 31 to 40 (+ 29%) last week after the numbers were updated. Deaths also track case and hospital admissions numbers.
Unvaccinated continued to make up the majority of those hospitalized with Covid-19 this week, although they made up a relatively small percentage of those at risk of serious illness – nearly 90% of those over 70 have now been vaccinated. In the last 7 days, 32% of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in Switzerland were recorded as fully vaccinated.
Overall, the vaccination rate in Switzerland has barely increased in the last month and has only increased by 2 percentage points to 66% since the beginning of October 2021.
On November 4, 2021, Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, warned of a difficult winter if the region does not respond. Every single country in Europe and Central Asia faces or is already fighting a real threat of a Covid-19 resurgence, he said. In the last 4 weeks, Europe has seen the number of new Covid-19 cases increase by more than 55% – in Switzerland the number has more than doubled in the last 4 weeks.
Most worrying is the rapid increase in the elderly population, which is causing more people to suffer from serious illnesses and more people to die. Currently, 75% of deaths are among people aged 65 and over, Kluge said. Across Europe, hospitalization rates for Covid-19 have more than doubled in a week, he reported. If we stay on this path, it is estimated that we could see another half a million Covid-19 deaths in Europe and Central Asia by February first next year, he said. In this way, 43 countries in the European and Central Asian region will be exposed to high to extreme stress on hospital beds at some point during the same period, the WHO director said.
According to Kluge, reasons for the resurgence are insufficient vaccination protection and the relaxation of public health and social measures.
European countries with low vaccination rates will be hit hard. Russia, just with 34% of its population has been fully vaccinated, almost 33,000 Covid-19 deaths last month. Given the country’s unreliable statistics, that number could be higher. An excess of deaths1 According to estimates by number breakers at The Economist, the death toll from Covid-19 in Russia has so far exceeded more than 904,000, almost 4 times the official number.
Most recently, Dr. Kluge sounded the alarm on October 15, 2020 with a similar public statement. By the following February, another 7,300 people had died in Switzerland during the deadliest period of the pandemic.
The difference today is that we know more and can do more. We have more tools and resources to mitigate and reduce the damage to our communities and society, the director said. However, the current situation and alarming short-term projections should drive us to action, he said.
1Excessive death calculations are considered by many to be more accurate than official Covid-19 death numbers because they avoid double counting and capture those who died without a Covid-19 test. However, they are not perfect.
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