Switzerland has managed to cut COVID-19 cases in half within weeks without massive country-wide coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, keeping most bars, restaurants, and gyms open.
Switzerland had 10,128 new cases Nov. 5, but its total dropped to just 4,312 by Nov. 27, according to The Telegraph U.K.
“The Swiss special way has worked,” Swiss medical adviser Thomas Steffen told reporters, per the Telegraph. “The slowdown has reversed the infection trend. Now we have to stick with it.”
The country has largely left governance up to localities. So, while Geneva ordered a strict lockdown, other cities like Zurich and Bern permitted restaurants, bars, and gyms to remain open, per the report.
The only national mandates were a limit of 10 at private gatherings, mask mandates in crowded areas, and an 11 p.m. local time curfew at restaurants, per the report.
“The development of the past few weeks is positive, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves,” Steffen said, per the Telegraph.
“The decline in infections was primarily observed in cantons that previously had high numbers of cases. These cantons took additional measures.”
Switzerland has had 340,115 COVID-19 positives (33rd in the world) and just 5,181 deaths. Its population is estimated to be 8.545 million, which is roughly the size of the state of Virginia. By comparison, Virginia has 244,503 COVID-19 cases and 4,147 deaths, according to Worldometer data.