ZURICH (SWITZERLAND) – Five of Switzerland’s largest hospitals have sought the health ministry intervention seeking urgent steps to bring down COVID-19 infections, reported the SonntagsZeitung newspaper on Sunday.
In their letter to Health Minister Alain Berset, the directors of the university hospitals of Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lausanne and Geneva said the pandemic was forcing them to postpone operations for patients with other life-threatening conditions while intensive care beds were becoming scarce.
More than 4,000 operations have been postponed at the five hospitals since October, the newspaper reported.
Switzerland has been hard hit by the epidemic, with around 5,000 new COVID-19 cases every day recently. Roughly 1.3% of the population has been infected in the last 28 days.
The directors said they feared a third wave of COVID-19 infections early next year could trigger a collapse in the health system.
Gregor Zuend from Zurich University Hospital described how one young cancer patient had to be sent home without having his tumour removed because there were no free spaces.
“I am very worried. The situation is very tense – the intensive care units in Bern, Zurich and Aaragu are now nearly completely occupied, and the number of cases is still increasing,” he told the newspaper.
On Friday the Swiss government expanded its restrictions, ordering all restaurants, shops and bars to close at 7 pm.