The government of Switzerland has declared a state of emergency on Monday, March 16 until April 19 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected over 2,000 Swiss people. It effectively brings coronavirus restrictions to the door of World Health Organization, headquartered here.
During a press conference, the Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga said, "A strong reaction is needed across the country. And we need it now."
Coronavirus in Switzerland
The Swiss region of Geneva declared a "state of necessity" due to the global pandemic, COVID-19. The order shuts down the bars and restaurants and restrict social gatherings. Geneva, which is home to many international institutions such as United Nations' headquarters in Europe and the World Health Organization (WHO), has banned meeting of more than five people, both indoors or outdoors. But professional meetings can go ahead as long as people follow proper distancing and hygiene guidelines.
As per ATS national news agency, canton council president Antonio Hodgers said, "The council took strong restrictive measures this morning to make haste. Geneva will be in semi-containment."
As per the Swiss government order, shops, restaurants and bars were to close on Monday at 6 pm (1700 GMT) until March 29. While cinemas, sports centres and all other entertainment outlets will be shut, hotels, food shops, fuel stations, pharmacies and small kiosks will remain open along with local food markets.
While outlets offering takeaway or food delivery, postal and banking services can remain open, hairdressers, barbers and prostitutes were among those services which are asked to shut down activities.