By Roy Mabasa
A total of seven Filipinos in Switzerland have tested positive with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). One had already been discharged from the hospital, while the other one remains under home quarantine, Philippine ambassador to Switzerland Bern Dennis Lepatan said on April 14, Tuesday.
According to Lepatan, the five COVID-stricken Filipinos appeared to be in “stable condition” and are being monitored by the Philippine Consulate in Geneva.
“Everything seems to be okay, we have not heard any of our kababayan who may have encountered problems,” Lepatan said during a phone patch interview at the regular “Laging Handa” program of the Inter-Agency Task Force.
While the overall situation in Switzerland is “calm,” the Philippine envoy said they continue to advise the Filipino community to abide by the advisories and regulations implemented by Swiss authorities, which include following a stay-at-home policy and observing proper hygiene.
He said the embassy and its people will continue to provide services to all Filipinos in Switzerland, especially on urgent or emergency cases such as those who need to renew their working permits.
The Filipino diplomat added that it would be better for Filipinos to just stay where they are right now and avoid traveling anywhere, at this time where the risk of infection is very high.
“Our advice is for them to stay in place at the moment because it’s very risky to travel especially in airports, which are considered hotspots here in Switzerland,” he said.
Latest reports showed a steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in Switzerland over the past four days—an improvement from the average daily increase of 1,000 cases in the previous days.
As of April 13, there were a total of 25,580 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million.