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Swiss army ends coronavirus deployment

Around 6,000 soldiers were deployed to support health personnel, police and border guards. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

The military has officially ended its involvement in relief measures associated with the coronavirus pandemic after 107 days on duty.  

This content was published on June 30, 2020 - 11:27
swissinfo.ch/ac

On Tuesday, the last 50 military personnel still serving in the CORONA 20 taskforce – which supports border control and customs operations – will be released from their duties. This marks the official end of the support of the Swiss Armed Forces, ordered by the governing Federal Council on March 16.  

Approximately 6,000 military personnel were temporarily deployed across the country and carried out more than 300 missions at the request of the cantons. These included military health workers, as well as regular army soldiers who assisted cantonal police forces and border guards. In total, those deployed completed some 320,000 days of service.  

In addition to the army, around 24,000 men and women from the civil defence force participated in the pandemic response. They assisted medical and nursing staff in hospitals and took on tasks including triage, cleaning and disinfection work, and the provision of protective equipment.  

They also set up emergency hospitals, consultation centres and telephone hotlines for the population, and provided transportation for people and equipment. 

The civil defence force was especially active in densely populated cantons that were seriously affected by the coronavirus, namely the canton of Vaud (about 70,000 service days), Geneva (40,000), Zurich (32,000) and Ticino (12,000). In April, at the height of the mission, some 5,000 civil defence personnel were deployed each week. 

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