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Switzerland hit by ‘very worrying’ fourth Covid wave

  • Published at 02:14 pm August 24th, 2021
Covid-19 Switzerland
File photo: Care group manager Nora Tschanz checks a Covid patient at the isolation ward of the University Hospital Zurich, in Zurich on November 19, 2020 Reuters

The coronavirus has killed at least 4,457,967 and infected over 213.5 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019

Switzerland is being hit by a fourth wave of the coronavirus with a "very worrying" rise in infections, the head of the government's crisis team at the Federal Office for Public Health said on Tuesday.

The number of new infections has hovered between 2,500 and 3,000 per day recently, close to the level of the third wave earlier this year, Patrick Mathys said.

"The current situation should be seen as unfavourable and to some extent very worrying," Mathys told a press conference in Bern. "We have to describe the current situation as the fourth wave," he added.

The number of new infections rose by 2,993 on Tuesday, taking the total number to 761,978 since the pandemic began. The government also reported six more deaths, taking the death toll to 10,953.

Mathys said he was concerned about hospitals and the low level of vaccinations.

Around 56% of the population have had at least one dose and 50% have had two. The vast majority of Covid-19 hospitalizations were of people who had not been vaccinated, Mathys said.

The coronavirus has killed at least 4,457,967 and infected over 213.5 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.

The US is the worst-affected country with 646,667 deaths, followed by Brazil with 574,944, India with 435,050, Mexico 253,526 and Peru 197,921.

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Boosters show signs

Less than a month into a Covid-19 vaccine booster drive, Israel is seeing signs of an impact on the country's high infection and severe illness rates fuelled by the fast-spreading Delta variant, officials and scientists say.

Teen pregnancies

Lockdown measures during the pandemic in South Africa have limited young girls' access to contraception and abortion, resulting in a surge in teenage pregnancies, Save the Children says.

Greece sets new restrictions

Greece's government announced an array of new restrictions and the end of free testing for those who remain unjabbed against Covid-19 in an effort to boost vaccination rates.

Starting from September 13, unvaccinated employees in the private and public sectors will have to be tested at their own expense once or twice a week, depending on their profession.

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