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One in ten people in Ticino exposed to Covid-19

Despite numerous measures to contain the pandemic, many people have been exposed to Covid-19. Keystone / Pablo Gianinazzi

Some 11% of people living in the southern Swiss canton of Ticino have been in contact with the Covid-19 virus, according to a study of antibodies in the blood. The rate has gone up from 9% when it was last measured in July.

This content was published on September 29, 2020 - 14:29
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Ticino, which borders Italy, was one of the worst affected Swiss cantons and the first to show signs of the coronavirus crisis. As the pandemic wore on, other cantons leapfrogged Ticino in terms of positive tests.

But the latest blood test study by the University of Applied Sciences of Italian-speaking SwitzerlandExternal link reveals that Ticino residents appear to top the table of Covid-19 antibodies. The latest study tested the blood of 8,000 residents since July.

Researchers say this sample group can be interpreted as indicative of the population of the canton. This would translate into 23,000 people in Ticino out of a population of 210,000 having come into contact with the virus

More than one in ten people aged between 20 and 64 displayed antibodies in their blood during the latest sample test. In the city of Locarno, 15% of all people tested had antibodies, while women between the ages of 20 and 35 were the highest affected group canton-wide.

Blood tests in Geneva also showed an 11% rate back in April. Those carried out in the western canton of Vaud showed a 7% antibody rate, which falls to 4% in Basel and 3% in Zurich. As each canton carries out its own studies, it is difficult to say how comparable the results are between regions.

Blood tests in Ticino will continue until at least June 2021.

On Tuesday, the Swiss health ministry reported 225 new coronavirus cases across the country over the previous 24 hours. The current seven-day average is 327.


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