Optimism returns as Covid-19 numbers fall in Switzerland

Since April 19, bars and restaurants in Switzerland have been allowed to re-open their outdoor seating areas. Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The recent drop in new Covid-19 cases in Switzerland and the accelerating vaccination programme are extremely encouraging, according to a top federal health official.

This content was published on May 5, 2021 minutes

“We have good reasons to be optimistic,” Patrick Mathys, head of crisis management at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), told reporters in Bern on Wednesday.

From the end of February until mid-April, the number of new infections rose slowly amid warnings of new coronavirus variants. But the new caseload has since stabilised and in recent days has fallen below the 2,000-mark. On Wednesday, the health office reportedExternal link 1,795 new confirmed cases. The national 14-day incidence was down slightly to 282 new cases per 100,000 residents. The national reproduction (R-value) on April 23 has slid to 0.93.

New hospital cases have also stabilised and the situation in intensive care units is “calmer” – Covid-19 patients occupy 24% of available beds – said Mathys.

This trend has been confirmed in Covid-19 analyses carried at six wastewater treatment plants across the country, he said.

And there is a good chance that this downward trend will continue over the next few weeks thanks to the vaccination programme, Mathys added.

The vaccination roll-out continues to accelerate across the country (over 51,000 jabs a day) with occasional hiccups and delays with some deliveries. Some 2.8 million Covid-19 doses were administered between late December and May 2; to date over 11% of the population have been fully vaccinated.

The Swiss government has ordered nearly 36 million vaccine doses from five companies. Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are being administered.

Last month the government relaxed some Covid restrictions - restaurants and bars are allowed to re-open their outdoor seating areas, for example. In late April it outlined a detailed plan for a phase-out from restrictions. No further changes are expected before May 26 when a consultation ends.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?