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CoronaVirus: We need to control the Swiss Borders

The emergency services of Ticino hospitals reacted Sunday to the spread of the epidemic in Italy by isolating people with breathing difficulties

Ticino is concerned about the spread of the coronavirus after the first cases in northern Italy. The cantonal emergency hospital services have already responded.

The situation and its development are being analyzed, Ticino cantonal doctor Giorgio Merlani told Keystone-ATS on Sunday. “The case is more important than it seemed at first.”

Ticino has been preparing for some time to deal with possible cases of coronavirus on its territory and the health structures are ready, communicated on Sunday the cantonal health department. On Monday, an enlarged coordination group will decide what additional measures are necessary for the light of developments in the north of Italy.

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New measures in hospitals

The emergency services of Ticino hospitals have already reacted. People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection with difficulty breathing are now considered suspect cases and are isolated. This measure applies to all patients with such symptoms, whereas until now it was only intended for people who had recently visited China.

Although it belongs to Switzerland, Ticino is geographically part of the north of Italy and the fears that the virus approaches the border increases. Sunday, a dozen cities in the north of the Peninsula were placed in quarantine. More than 100 cases are now listed across the country, according to the President of Lombardy, for whom “we need increased border controls”.

Measures requested

Some 68,000 border workers employed by the canton are in the sights of certain politicians. In the Sunday newspaper Il caffe della domenica, the national councilor Lorenzo Quadri (Lega) thus calls for the borders to be closed.

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Grand Council deputy Tiziano Galeazzi (UDC) submitted an interpellation to the Council of State, in which he asked if it would be possible to examine border crossers crossing national borders using temperature scanners.

The member more generally wants to know what measures are being taken against the virus. The Ticino PS has made a similar request to find out how the canton intends to proceed.

In Milan, football matches have been canceled and schools and universities will remain closed for the next week as a precaution. A similar measure is not necessary for Ticino, as the schools are closed for carnival holidays anyway.

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