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Presymptomatic infections are spread over a longer time period before symptom onset than previously thought, which can have significant ramifications for contact tracing efforts.
It is likely that there is only a limited time window for the optimisation of the proximity tracing app and promotion of substantial population uptake. It will be all the more important that research programmes allow data-driven, evidence-based optimisations, and information for the public about the benefits, harms and costs of proximity tracing apps.
Current estimates of time-varying R0 in Switzerland well below one are promising. However, as of 24 April 2020, at least 96% of the Swiss population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. These results warrant a cautious relaxation of social distance practices and close monitoring of changes in both the basic and effective reproduction numbers.
The ongoing agricultural reforms present serious challenges for Swiss farmers. This study shows a higher rate of suicide in farmers compared to non-farmers in Switzerland, with the gap widening increasingly after 2006.
Decisions for or against off-label treatment need to be based on clearly defined selection and treatment criteria, a strong biological rationale, a critical appraisal of prior evidence, and the estimated harm-benefit ratio.
icumonitoring.ch: a platform for short-term forecasting of intensive care unit occupancy during the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland
In Switzerland, the COVID-19 epidemic is progressively slowing down owing to “social distancing” measures introduced by the Federal Council on 16 March 2020. However, the gradual ease of these measures may initiate a second epidemic wave, the length and intensity of which are difficult to anticipate. The authors introduce icumonitoring.ch, a platform providing hospital-level projections for ICU occupancy.
Reproductive number of the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland with a focus on the Cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft
The reproductive number in Switzerland was between 1.5 and 2 during the first third of March, and has consistently decreased to around 1. After the announcement of the latest strict measure on 20 March 2020, namely that gatherings of more than five people in public spaces are prohibited, the reproductive number dropped significantly below 1; the authors of this study estimate the reproductive number to be between 0.6 and 0.8 in the first third of April.
Like many other countries around the world, Iran is contending with the COVID-19 epidemic, but with the additional burden of international sanctions on supplies of medicines and medical equipment.
A liberal approach to testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland is needed as part of the package of control measures.
The authors explore how seasonal variation in transmissibility could modulate a SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The likely aggregated effect of seasonal variation, infection control measures, and transmission rate variation is a prolonged pandemic wave with lower prevalence at any given time, thereby providing a window of opportunity for better preparation of health care systems.