Infections with the corona virus have increased significantly in the last few days. Experts say it makes sense to wear masks voluntarily on public transport.
the essentials in brief
- Within seven days, the number of corona cases rose by 49.9 percent to 25,134.
- Experts advise risk patients to voluntarily wear a mask when things get tight.
- Despite the often milder course, patients could soon put a lot of strain on the system again.
25,134 new infections with the corona virus were reported to the BAG last week. That means an increase of almost 50 percent compared to the previous week.
The steep increase within a week shows that the number of corona cases is increasing again, as expected.
Booster vaccination starting Monday
From Monday, the Swiss population will be able to get a booster vaccination again. The Federal Office of Public Health points out the importance of one’s own behavior in order to protect oneself and others. Means: If it gets tight indoors, a mask should be worn. Also voluntarily.
For example in public transport, where the Swiss are increasingly wearing mouth and nose protection voluntarily. That also makes sense, says infectiologist Huldrych Günthard from the University Hospital Zurich. “If you want to protect yourself, that’s logical,” he says when asked by Nau.ch.
Isabella Eckerle from the Geneva University Hospital thinks the same. An FFP2 mask, i.e. the virologist, is best. “And not just in public transport”, but everywhere “where many people come together in a small, poorly ventilated space”.
Corona is coming again
Because according to Eckerle, Corona is now becoming a problem again. “With the newly emerging immune escape variants, strong infection activity can be expected again in the coming weeks or months,” says the virologist on request.
Are you worried about another corona wave?
Günthard sees it that way too. He does not expect measures against the corona virus for the time being. Self-protection is all the more important – not least to protect the hospitals.
University Hospital Zurich has no reserves
According to the BAG, the proportion of beds in intensive care units occupied by corona patients remains “at a very low level”. But at the university hospital in Zurich they already have no more reserves, explains Günthard. Not even with the staff.
In order to prevent many corona patients, it is important to confirm an infection with a test in addition to a renewed booster vaccination. In the case of high-risk patients in particular, drug treatment can then be started immediately, which can prevent hospitalization and a severe course of the disease.
Because at the same time as the number of corona cases is increasing, “the other respiratory pathogens are currently also circulating strongly again,” explains Eckerle.
In selected phases of the corona pandemic, these were previously pushed back by the protective measures.
System is threatened with a heavy load
In anticipation of the expected corona wave, it is now important that older people in particular benefit from a booster vaccination. Overall, there are not so many serious illnesses, says Günthard, among others. But there are always older people coming to the hospital because of Corona who have not yet received a second booster. If this doesn’t change, there could be “great tension in the system”.
Eckerle also warns of this. “Even if the individual risk of an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection no longer corresponds to that of different phases of the pandemic. So many patients in the outpatient area and on the normal ward plus a loss of staff at the same time can put a heavy strain on the system.»
Huldrych Günthard is hoping for a clear strategy from the authorities. “Not many people will die directly from COVID-19,” predicts the infectiologist. But you should ask yourself whether you don’t want to protect people from Long Covid as well. Or how to prevent sick people from being absent from their workplace and thus creating gaps in the system.
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