Coronavirus: Interim report on the situation before Easter

03/04/2020 (11:00)
Press release
Department of Health

The Department of Health Basel-Stadt gave a report on the coronavirus situation in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, at a video press conference today. The inhibitory effect of the prescribed measures means that the number of positive cases has not risen exponentially. So far, a success. The Head of the Department of Health is calling upon the people of Basel to continue to follow the codes of conduct and hygiene measures even on the lovely spring days to come, and thanks them for their cooperation.

As Cantonal Physician Thomas Steffen highlighted in his explanations about the epidemiological situation, the measures enforced so far have had an inhibitory effect. It has so far been possible to avoid a large, new seat of infection in the Canton of Basel-Stadt and an exponential increase hasn’t occurred. However, he also clearly says that: “Without the steps currently being taken, the outcome would drastically deteriorate within a short time.”

Head of the Department of Health Lukas Engelberger therefore says the following: “I would like to thank the people of Basel for largely following the codes of conduct. However, we need to keep following the conduct and hygiene rules, even though we all find it hard.”

Phased expansion of intensive care capacity in the Canton of Basel-Stadt

The number of hospitalisations is expected to rise. Peter Indra, Head of Healthcare, outlined the Covid-19 care concept of the Canton of Basel-Stadt against this background. Even when operating normally, the Canton of Basel-Stadt has a generous amount of intensive care beds for people with a wide range of serious illnesses. Around 20 intensive care beds with ventilators are currently being provided for patients with a Covid-19 infection. Capacity for Covid-19 patients can be gradually increased to around 70 ventilator beds. These intensive care beds are mainly provided by the University Hospital of Basel and supplemented by Claraspital. Together, the other public and private hospitals can additionally provide around 650 beds on isolation wards where Covid-19 patients can be treated. In the Canton of Basel-Stadt, these capacities are gradually being set up according to regular assessment between the Department of Health and the hospitals.

Lukas Engelberger concluded: “Despite the expected increase in the number of hospitalisations, we are confident that we will be able to treat and care for everybody. In view of the nice, mild spring days forecast and the upcoming Easter weekend, we still need to keep following the codes of conduct and hygiene measures. It is still too early to give the all-clear. I am calling upon everybody in Basel to keep following the codes of conduct and hygiene measures! Stay strong! I would like to thank all of you for doing this.”

Support offer:

Together with “Gsünder Basel” [healthier Basel], the Department of Health has created a new support offer to make it easier for people to follow the codes of conduct. At the heart of the new offer is the website The information and support offers on the new website are particularly aimed at pensioners, people who live alone and families with children who are especially affected by the measures taken by the Federal Council to tackle coronavirus.