People with pre-existing conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus complications are being asked to sign Swiss doctors’ orders to “do not resuscitate”.
For example, people over the age of 60 and those suffering from heart disease or diabetes have been urged to sign the orders to ease the pressure in intensive care units.
Switzerland is in the throes of a second wave of the virus, with 9,751 new infections since Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Switzerland and the small neighboring Principality of Liechtenstein to 300,352.
An activist group called Pro Senectute Schweiz, which campaigns for the rights of seniors, described the appeal as “exaggerated”.
Professor Thierry Fumeaux, speaking on behalf of the group, told Euronews that there was still some spare capacity in the Swiss health system: “What we call certified beds – attended by certificate commissioners – are all full, but of course we have some in reserve. because all hospitals have been able to increase capacity by asking more people from their teams who are not normally in IC to work there.
“But,” he added, “the situation is nevertheless critical.”
Because the ski season is such a big part of the Swiss tourist industry, local administrators do everything they can to keep the slopes open – limiting the number of gatherings and enforcing strict rules for wearing masks in the elevated ski lifts.
Since September, large parts of France have been considered “high risk” by the Swiss authorities and arrivals from those regions were quarantined for 10 days after arriving in Switzerland.
But as of November 23, all regions of mainland France have been removed from the quarantine list.
From December 1, many other rules will be relaxed, including a fivefold increase in the number of people allowed to attend religious services and an end to the ban on visiting hospitals and care homes.
Visits to nursing homes can now be allowed “under strict conditions, restrictions that may be set depending on the health situation of the institution concerned”.