Switzerland’s current anti-covid measures aren’t able to stop spreading of the pathogen, Zurich Health Director Natalie Rickli says. She warned on Tuesday that a city could hit 40,000 daily corona cases and called for a relaxation in the quarantine rules.
Zurich hospitals may have to prioritise the vaccinated to assure that Switzerland should “no longer be held hostage” but those who refuse the jab. Last month, health officials warned the Alpine nation could cross the 20,000 daily COVID-19 case mark for the first time in the new year.
While Zurich is Switzerland’s most populous canton, 40,000 cases per day would see the region plunged into uncertainty and havoc, with businesses and essential services being forced to shut down due to staff quarantines.
“We are dealing with a monster wave that cannot be stopped. It will overrun the country in the next few weeks,” Rickli said and added that the new infections will paralyse our society if people do not act now.
Rickli called for a reduction in the quarantine rules, particularly for those who have been vaccinated. Ricki also brought up the controversial topic of hospitals deciding between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients in ICUs.
As of Tuesday, a situation in Zurich’s hospitals and ICUs is relatively stable, while a dramatic increase in cases could again lead to overcrowding. The experts believe the covid-patients should also be prepared to forego intensive treatment and not burden the staff with it for weeks.
“It cannot be that the unvaccinated continue to take us hostage as a society, now that you can see light at the end of the tunnel,” Ricki said.
Swiss authorities have repeatedly ruled out triage between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in Switzerland, saying the main criteria should remain the chances of survival of respective patients.