Switzerland reports first COVID-19 death

March 06, 2020 | 10:09
A 74-year-old woman suffering from the new coronavirus has died in Switzerland, marking the country's first death in the outbreak, police said on Thursday (Mar 5).
switzerland reports first covid 19 death
Flyers are placed on a table during a meeting of the task force of the Federal Office of Public Health on the prevention of the further spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, on Feb 28, 2020 in Bern. (Photo: AFP/Pool/PETER KLAUNZER)

The woman, who was hospitalised in the western city of Lausanne with the virus on Tuesday, had died overnight to Thursday, regional police in the canton of Vaud said in a statement.

The woman, who also suffered from a pre-existing chronic illness, had been considered "high risk" from the virus.

COVID-19 produces mild symptoms in 80 per cent of cases, but for the elderly and sick it can produce severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure.

Globally, it is estimated to have killed 3.4 per cent of those who have contracted the virus.

Sign announcing that protection masks and disinfection products are sold out is seen at a pharmacy A sign announcing that protection masks and disinfection products are sold out is seen at a pharmacy in Zurich, Switzerland, Feb 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

More than 95,000 people have been infected and over 3,200 have died worldwide from the virus, which by Thursday had reached some 80 countries and territories.

To date, Switzerland has registered 58 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the disease first surfaced in the country on Feb 25.

Switzerland on Friday suspended all events with more than 1,000 participants until Mar 15, notably cancelling the Geneva International Motor Show.

On Thursday, the International Labour Organization said that it had decided to cancel a meeting of its governing body, which had been expected to draw around 500 people from more than 70 countries this month, after conducting a risk assessment.

The United Nations' European headquarters in Geneva has also closed its doors to visitors and has curbed some activities linked to the Human Rights Council.


What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional