Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
Swiss officials are working round the clock to track down thousands of British tourists who recently arrived in the country over fears they might be infected with the mutant coronavirus.
According to Swiss officials, many of those who arrived may already be infected with Corona-Mutation VUI-202012/01, and they believe most of them may be heading to the country’s already open ski resorts with fears that they could start infecting others as they take to the slopes.
Due to health concerns, Swiss officials have announced a 10-day quarantine for all arrivals from the UK backdated to all those who arrived since 14th December. The same applies to arrivals from South Africa where the mutation has also been detected.
Swiss officials said they estimate that about 10,000 people from the UK, mostly ski tourists, need to be found.
The passengers arrived into the country on 92 separate flights from the UK.
A member of the country’s coronavirus task force, Tanja Stadler, confirmed that so far they have not detected any new cases of the new variant, however, they believe it was almost certain that some of the passengers on the 92 flights would have been infected.
Asked by Swiss public broadcaster SRF, she said that statistically, it was “highly likely” which is why they have ordered the retroactive lockdown for arrivals from the UK.
All flights from the UK meanwhile remain banned as the implications of the new variant continue to be studied.
The individual health authorities and the different cantons are responsible for tracking down the UK arrivals and anyone they have recently been in contact with.
Passenger lists have been requested from airlines and handed out to health officials, with a large majority apparently ending up in the ski region of Verbier in Valais.
The resort was recently at the centre of a scandal at the start of the season when a large number of skiers was packed together waiting to get on the ski lifts.
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