COVID-⁠19 Switzerland

Information on the current situation, as of 21 June 2021

Key figures,Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Relevant virus variants

This data is based on reports from laboratories that sequence the virus material or specifically examine it for mutations. The test results are recorded via our reporting system as well as via a national SARS-⁠CoV-⁠2 monitoring programme.

Virus variants overview

Relevant virus variants, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 28.09.2020 to 21.06.2021

Virus variants are identified and classified on the basis of mutations in their genome (change to genetic material). In the case of some SARS-⁠CoV-⁠2 variants, mutations lead to altered pathogen characteristics, including an increased risk of infection, more serious cases of the disease, the risk of re-⁠infection and reduced vaccine protection. The spread of these virus variants can impact the epidemiological situation. It is for this reason that they are classified as relevant variants and subjected to special observation.

The WHO has classified individual virus variants as variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest (VOI). In Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, the classification of virus variants may differ from those of the WHO, as the relevance of the respective variants depends on their current regional occurrence.

The variant B.1.1.7– Alpha (first detected in the UK in September 2020) has been the most common variant in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein since mid-⁠February 2021. Since May 2021, it has therefore no longer been classified as a VOC in these areas.

Laboratories report the results of the so-⁠called case-⁠specific variant analysis to us via the reporting system. These include the targeted examination of individual mutations or the partial or complete sequencing of the genome. The systematic monitoring of circulating virus variants, on the other hand, involves the targeted, complete sequencing of the genome from a representative sample. The data can be used to estimate the proportion of individual virus variants. Previously unknown variants can also be identified.

Reporting system: Results of the case-⁠specific variant analysis are transmitted to us via the reporting system. Case-⁠specific analyses include either the targeted examination of individual mutations or a partial or complete sequencing of the genome. The data is primarily collected within the context of a targeted clarification (e.g. outbreak investigations, vaccination breakthroughs and re-⁠infections). The collected samples are therefore not representative.

Monitoring: Results from monitoring are based on the complete genome sequencing of SARS-⁠CoV-⁠2. As part of the monitoring, the laboratory sequences random samples from positive SARS-⁠CoV-⁠2 samples. This allows for a representative and comprehensive overview of the currently circulating virus variants to be obtained. On the basis of the data, we can estimate the proportion of individual virus variants. We are also able to recognise previously unknown variants.

Variants Reporting system Monitoring
B.1.351 – Beta

This virus variant is considered to be of concern (VOC) due to the risk of re-⁠infection and the suspected reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠19 vaccine. First detected in South Africa in May 2020.

Reporting system

249

Monitoring

237
P.1 – Gamma

This virus variant is considered to be of concern (VOC) due to the risk of re-⁠infection and the suspected reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠19 vaccine. Detected for the first time in Brazil and Japan at the end of 2020.

Reporting system

21

Monitoring

114
B.1.617.2 - Delta

This virus variant is considered to be of concern (VOC) since the beginning of May 2021, as an increased risk of infection, a heightened risk of re-⁠⁠infection and a reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠⁠19 vaccine are suspected. First detected in India in October 2020.

Reporting system

17

Monitoring

83
B.1.617.1 - Kappa

This virus variant is considered to be of interest (VOI) due to the risk of re-⁠infection and the suspected reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠19 vaccine. It is not yet so common in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and is therefore not classified as a VOC. First detected in India in October 2020.

Reporting system

1

Monitoring

10
B.1.1.7 – Alpha

This virus variant (first detected in the UK in September 2020) is considered to be of concern (VOC) internationally due to an increased risk of infection. This variant has been the dominant variant in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein since mid-⁠February 2021. Since May 2021, it has therefore no longer been classified as a VOC in these areas.

Reporting system

18 100

Monitoring

18 642
P.2 – Zeta

This virus variant is considered to be of interest (VOI) due to the risk of re-⁠infection and the suspected reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠19 vaccine. It is not yet so common in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and is therefore not classified as a VOC. First detected in Brazil in April 2020.

Reporting system

32

Monitoring

17
B.1.525 – Eta

This virus variant is considered to be of interest (VOI) due to the risk of re-⁠infection and the suspected reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠19 vaccine. It is not yet so common in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and is therefore not classified as a VOC. First detected in Nigeria and other countries in december 2020.

Reporting system

4

Monitoring

38
B.1.526 – Iota

This virus variant is considered to be of interest (VOI) due to the risk of re-⁠infection and the suspected reduced efficacy of a COVID-⁠19 vaccine. It is not yet so common in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and is therefore not classified as a VOC. First detected in United States of America in November 2020.

Reporting system

-

Monitoring

8
B.1.1.7 & E484K

This virus variant is considered to be of interest (VOI) due to an increased risk of infection as well as a suspected heightened risk of re-⁠infection. It is not yet so common in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and is therefore not classified as a VOC.

Reporting system

0

Monitoring

-
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covid19.admin.ch
Source: FOPH (Reporting system) – Status: 21.06.2021, 07.54h
Source: FOPH (Monitoring) – Status: 21.06.2021, 08.04h

Development over time

Relevant virus variants, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 28.09.2020 to 21.06.2021

The systematic monitoring of circulating virus variants involves the targeted, complete sequencing of the genome from a representative sample. The data can be used to estimate the proportion of individual virus variants. We are also able to identify previously unknown variants.

The graphic shows the development of the estimated proportion of relevant virus variants in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein over a selected period of time. The line represents the seven-⁠day average (average of previous three days to subsequent three days). The bar chart contains the number of completely sequenced samples per day.

For the individually selected variants, the daily values are bounded with an upper and lower value, which represent a probability of 95%.
B.1.351 – Beta
P.1 – Gamma
B.1.617.2 - Delta
Estimated proportion of relevant virus variants in the seven-⁠day average
Sample sequencing
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covid19.admin.ch
Source: FOPH (Monitoring) – Status: 21.06.2021, 08.04h