Switzerland confirms first Covid-19 case
Switzerland has confirmed its first case of Covid-19.
The Federal Health Office says the patient is a male in his seventies and was infected while on a trip to the Italian city of Milan a couple of weeks ago.
He’s spent most of that time with his family and now he’s in an isolation ward in Lugano. His family have been placed in quarantine for the next two weeks.
At a press conference, the Health Office says the case will not change how Switzerland will handle the outbreak for the time being.
Medics are waiting for the results of tests from 70 other potential cases throughout the country.
Meanwhile, health authorities in canton Graubünden say they are on alert – but they’re not panicking as the number of Covid 19 infections climb in neighboring Italy.
Switzerland shares a 744 km long border with Italy and Graubünden is on the front line.
The head of the cantonal health office, Rudolf Leuthold told the Blick newspaper, that they’re prepared and have supplies of masks, disinfectants and tests.
The canton also points out it doesn’t have the authority to close the border – that’s a matter for Bern.
The Federal Councilor, Alain Berset, was in Rome yesterday for a meeting with European health ministers. He says the talks were good and they will meet again. He was asked if the Swiss borders should be closed, he replied while no option should be excluded – it would be disproportionate at the moment. He points out that would mean all airports would have to shut, holiday makers would not be permitted to return home and river traffic on the Rhine would be halted.