A young child has died from the possible consequences of a coronavirus infection, in the first case of its kind in Switzerland, the authorities have announced. Investigations into the case are ongoing.
The news was confirmed by Stefan Kuster, head of the infectious diseases department at the Federal Office of Public Health, at a press conference in the Swiss capital Bern on Friday.
The infant, whose parents live in canton Aargau, became infected abroad. The case is being investigated, Kuster said. No further information was given.
However, Aargau's cantonal doctor told Swiss public television SRF later on Friday that it was not yet totally clear what the cause of death was.
"On May 26 a baby, under a year old, was transported by Rega to the Children's Hospital Zurich. The baby was extremely ill and tested positive for Covid-19," Yvonne Hummel told SRF. The child later died.
"The child had severe meningitis. Many viruses can cause this type of illness. We cannot at present say what the exact cause of death was," Hummel explained on Friday early evening. The case is being investigated.
Kuster also said that two children had become infected with the coronavirus in Basel and that around 70 people had been put into quarantine as a result. Canton Basel City added in a statement that the two were brother and sister and had been attending primary school and Kindergarten in the west of the city. Those now quarantined included members of their family, as well as classmates and the children's two teachers. It is not yet known how the siblings came to be infected.
Overall on Friday there were two reported deaths as a result of the coronavirus and 32 new infections. There has been a rise across the week: on Thursday the number was 20 and on Wednesday and Tuesday, 15.
Numbers are subject to change due to the lower numbers of tests at the weekend, but Friday’s toll should remind people that “the story of the coronavirus” is not yet finished, Kuster said.
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