ZURICH, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Swiss health authorities said on Tuesday they expect the number of coronavirus infections to peak later this month.
"We expect infections to reach their peak in January," Tanja Stadler, head of the national COVID-19 science task force, told a media briefing as the government reported more than 24,600 new cases in Switzerland and tiny neighbour Liechtenstein.
"We could get to the peak within the next two weeks if contacts among people stay on the same level. If people are more cautious, it will take longer," she said.
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She said during the peak week up to 300 new patients could have to be admitted to intensive care units.
Virginie Masserey, the health official responsible for infectious disease control, said hospitals had to prepare to deal with the extra inflow of patients.
At the peak, 10-15% of the active population could be absent from work due to quarantine or isolation, she said.
The duration of quarantine could be further reduced to five days, from seven now, and limited to the closest contacts, Stadler said.
The government, which has been trying to avoid another lockdown that could cripple the economy, is meeting on Wednesday to assess the situation. read more
(This story was refiled to correct typo in headline)
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegisterReporting by Silke Koltrowitz; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Michael Shields