Infections are increasing throughout Switzerland - the shift is concerning

PANDEMIC

The trend of increasing cases of contagion is generalised. We are no longer talking about individual cantons that are more affected than others, but about sustained and rather uniform growth throughout Switzerland. Ticino included. To take a view of the epidemiological situation in our country, we contacted Dr Giorgio Merlani.

Infections are increasing throughout Switzerland - the shift is concerning
Numbers growing throughout Switzerland, the trend is worrying © CDT / Gabriele Putzu

Infections are increasing throughout Switzerland - the shift is concerning

Numbers growing throughout Switzerland, the trend is worrying © CDT / Gabriele Putzu

‘Yes, the figures are growing globally,confirms the cantonal doctor. The spread of the virus has accelerated both in Italy and beyond the Gotthard. In Ticino we recorded eight cases on Friday, nine on Saturday and four on Sunday. Then suddenly, after a fairly excited weekend, on Monday we wee left with a bang (21 cases, ed). Numbers not attributable to an outbreak, but rather to small ‘’ clusters ‘’ scattered in various areas of the canton. And this is somewhat what is happening in the rest of Switzerland’. A common trend therefore.

Numbers growing throughout Switzerland, the trend is worrying

Numbers up and rising quiickly too. Merlani again: ‘On Tuesday we reported 17 cases, today 39. They have therefore doubled. This trend is worrying, I certainly do not want to see a further doubling of the numbers’. The possible causes of this massive increase, according to the cantonal doctor, are two: ‘The bad weather that has affected Switzerland in recent days, which has pushed people into the interior where social distances are less, and the greater mobility due to autumn holidays in Switzerland. Two factors that can explain the increase we are experiencing’. And this, wanting to force it, could be just a taste of what awaits us in the really cold months. ’The fear actually exists‘ Merlani continues. ‘We can however hope that, people remember to follow those good habits that may have been a little abandoned during the summer. With some further measures, I believe we will be able to keep the spread of the virus under control. In fact, I would like to avoid a continuous growth of new cases between now and March, even if a significant increase in the number of people hospitalised in December, January and February must be taken into account’.

An essential system

On Tuesday the news related to the quarantine of over 150 people following three cases that tested positive for coronavirus (two had attended the Seven in Lugano, the third had played a Second inter regional game in San Gottardo).

How long can the contact tracing system hold up in the face of large numbers?

‘There are two problems,« he says. «The contact tracing group must first call the positive person, understand where they may have become infected and know what their contacts were in the 48 hours that preceded the onset of symptoms. Repeating this medical history for 39 people means having to do a huge job. Because precisely the anamnesis involves an interview of about an hour with the infected person. Tracing all those who came into contact with the infected person to quarantine them, however, is fortunately faster. Contact tracing is fundamental, if we let go of it we again risk a dangerous uncontrolled community spread of the virus. A further worrying data concerns the test positivity rate: In Ticino the percentage has risen, yes.

‘Last week we were travelling around 1.5%, in the last two days we reached 7 respectively 5.5%’.

Contagions, quarantines and contact tracing. The current situation is tense, yes. and once again the clubs of the «movida» are viewed with suspicion. ‘It is clear that in a disco everyone comes into contact with everyone’ explains Merlani. ‘In the offices there are also close relationships, but the numbers remain low. In a nightclub, however, a so-called ‘’ superspreader ‘’ can infect as many as 100 people. There are therefore contexts that are more at risk than others depending on the number of frequencies and the closeness between people’.

New measures

In light of the rapid worsening of the epidemiological situation in Ticino, the Council of State (meeting in an extraordinary session) could tighten the measures tomorrow morning. Among the hypotheses submitted for examination by the Executive is the obligation of the mask in shops, following the example of what has already been decided by numerous cantons.

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata

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