Covid virus ‘takes no break’ over Christmas warn Swiss ministers
President Guy Parmelin has called for solidarity during the festive season as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Switzerland.
In a Christmas message, the outgoing president called on people to respect the health precautions – to keep a safe distance when meeting other people and get tested in case of Covid symptoms.
“Let’s enjoy this special time of the year with our families,” Parmelin wrote in a message on Twitter. “But we must not forget that the coronavirus takes no break”.
In the same vein, the Swiss president for 2022, Ignazio Cassis said Covid is clearly having an impact on Christmas but “doesn’t stop us from cherishing what unites us. Let’s celebrate in safety”.
The messages come as the seven Swiss government ministers are on holiday before the next regular cabinet meeting in mid-January.
As expected, the new Covid variant, Omicron, continues to spread in Switzerland and is beginning to affect some public services.
In the Lake Geneva region, at least one medical service has had to scale down its operations since Friday because of a shortage of personnel due to pandemic-related absences.
The Urgence santé foundationExternal link in canton Vaud said medical doctors were not available during nighttime over the weekend.
But the cantonal health authorities said other emergency service providers would remain operational.
In southern Switzerland, the health authorities of canton Ticino say Omicron has become dominant in the region bordering Italy.
Officials told the Swiss public radio RSI that there is scientific data showing that the new variant can infect vaccinated people, but that a booster jab can reduce the risk of infections.
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