Covid 19 Coronavirus
Covid 19 Coronavirus

Swiss coronavirus cases top 10,000, with 161 deaths

Agency News

Switzerland has 10,714 confirmed coronavirus infections and 161 people have died of the disease, the Federal Office of Public Health said. The numbers were up to date as of 0715 GMT, it said.

Switzerland is pumping billions of francs into its crisis-hit economy while army medical units are being deployed at hospitals to help in crisis regions like Ticino, bordering hard-hit Italy.

The Alpine country of 8.6 million people had 10,714 confirmed cases and 161 people have died as of Thursday morning, the Federal Office of Public Health said, up from 103 deaths and 9,765 cases on Wednesday.

"It's without question too early to think about easing restrictions," Daniel Koch, head of infectious diseases at the federal health agency, said at a news conference in Bern. "This is a marathon without kilometre markers."

Companies rushed to tap their banks for 20 billion Swiss francs ($20.58 billion) worth of state-backed loans that became available on Thursday. Loans of less than 500,000 francs were interest-free.

Credit Suisse said it received 2,700 loan applications and had paid out half a billion francs by midday in a fast-track procedure. UBS said it had had 3,000 applications.

Post office bank PostFinance [PFAG.UL], allowed to lend for the first time under the emergency programme, said small businesses were seeking sums ranging from 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,348.75)to far more than 200,000.