Switzerland deploys army as virus cases spike

The Swiss government on Wednesday decided to deploy the army for a second time this year to help country’s health system respond to a surge in coronavirus cases, news wires reported. The country of 8.56 million has a record 10,043 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.

Defence Minister Viola Amherd says the deployment of up to 2,500 soldiers will help Swiss regions cope with the growing number of coronavirus patients hospitalized or in intensive care. The soldiers were expected to provide support for civilian hospitals such as basic care, detection of suspected cases and testing. They’ll supply equipment to intensive care units. The government said troops also may be deployed to assist with transport of infected people. During the first wave, the army had helped deliver millions of sanitary masks to shops.

Authorities in the French-speaking Fribourg canton had called on Friday for military assistance saying they could no longer cope with the skyrocketing number of cases.

Virginie Masserey, head of vaccination strategies at the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, warned intensive care facilities could reach saturation point as early as Sunday.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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