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Covid-19 Swiss coronavirus epicentre Ticino reports no new deaths or infections

WAITER IN CANTON TICINO WEARING A MASK

A waiter at restaurant Portico on the Piazza Grande in Locarno, Switzerland, on May 11, 2020.

(Keystone / Pablo Gianinazzi)

Italian-speaking canton Ticino, in the south of Switzerland, has reported no new fatalities or infections for the first time since the virus was recorded there in late February. 

For the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, there have been no new deaths of cases of infection in Ticino, which borders Italy, the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH) said on May 12.

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Ticino was where the first coronavirus case was reported on February 25, and which introduced the first emergency restrictions to curb the spread of the disease. It has been one of the worst-affected Swiss regions, alongside Geneva, Vaud and Zurich.

According to consolidated figures that come directly from the cantons, Switzerland reported a total of 30,201 cases on May 12, and 1,857 coronavirus-related deaths. 

On Tuesday, the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH) reported 36 new cases over the past 24 hours. The number of new positive cases has been below 100 for over one week now. 

After an eight-week partial lockdown, emergency restrictions are being slowly eased in Switzerland as the virus situation improves. 

After several shops and professions were opened or allowed to operate from April 27, during a second phase from May 11 restaurants, bars, shops, museums and other culture institutions have re-opened under strict conditions and primary and lower secondary schools have resumed classes. There has also been a gradual relaxation of some strict controls on entry into the country. A third phase of easing is planned from June 8.

However, a ban on public and private gatherings of more than five people remains in place and the government has urged people to continue to heed hygiene standards, notably social distancing and handwashing. 

Major events involving more than 1,000 people – notably cultural festivals – will not be allowed until at least the end of August.

Keystone-SDA/sb

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