Only 10% of Swiss are immune to Covid-19

People enjoy the sunshine at Lausanne on May 17, 2020. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

One in ten Swiss residents has developed immunity to the new coronavirus, according to a top Swiss health official. Meanwhile, federal statistics reveal a sharp downward trend in corona-related infections and deaths. 

This content was published on May 18, 2020 - 16:39

“There will be no herd immunity in Switzerland during this first wave, as the coronavirus infection rate stands at only 10%,” Daniel Koch, head of communicable diseases at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), told reporters on Monday.

Koch was referring to an ongoing herd community study External linkbeing carried out in canton Geneva that estimates the seroprevalence of the population and estimated percentage exposed to the virus.

The number of coronavirus cases has fallen steeply in Switzerland in recent days. On Monday, the FOPH reported only ten new official confirmed cases of infection, taking the total number of confirmed cases to over 30,000.

There were also no new coronavirus deaths in Switzerland over the previous 72 hours, FOPH statistics revealedExternal link. There have been a total of 1,883 reported deaths.

Koch described the downward trend as “extremely pleasing”, adding that “everything is on track”.

He said there were various reasons behind the fall: the behaviour of the population, the strict rules and seasonal factors.

“The numbers continue to go down. We hope there will be even fewer cases and infections in Switzerland. As a result, this will allow us to continue to ease restrictive measures,” he said. 

Holiday weekends

Koch said the population should be able to enjoy the upcoming Ascension and Whitsun holiday weekends. But he insisted that residents should maintain social distancing and hygiene rules. 

The government-imposed “emergency situation” and restrictions continue in Switzerland. All private and public events are banned, as are gatherings of more than five people. 

But a three-stage plan to ease measures and to slowly re-open the country is underway. This includes plans to re-open Switzerland’s borders with Germany, Austria and France on June 15, if the situation allows. 

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