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World News

Swiss trim trains to Italy, France and Germany as COVID cases top 200,000

A poster informs masks as mandatory at the entrance of the newly built office and business complex "The Circle" at Zurich Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Kloten, Switzerland November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Coronavirus infections rose by 10,128 in a day, data here from Swiss health authorities showed on Thursday, as the country that took eight months to reach 100,000 COVID-19 cases needed just another two weeks to top 200,000.

Switzerland also announced on Thursday it was cutting the number of trains to neighbouring Italy, Germany and France amid partial lockdowns in each of the countries and as travelers avoid cross-border public transportation as governments appeal for them to keep a distance from others.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Switzerland and neighbouring Liechtenstein increased to 202,504 and the death toll rose by 62 to 2,337. Switzerland had breached the 100,000 case mark only on Oct. 23.

Hospitalisations rose by 399 as the government deployed army personnel to help the hard-pressed health care system cope with the surge in admissions.

Five Swiss train connections daily to Italy will be suspended from Monday to at least Dec. 12, while long-distance routes to France will be reduced to two connections daily between Geneva and Paris and one connection daily between Zurich to Paris via Basel until at least Dec. 1.

Moreover, night trains run by the Austrian Federal Railways between Zurich, Berlin and Hamburg are also being canceled starting this weekend until early December.

“The current situation and the stricter measures against the coronavirus have led to a significant reduction in demand for international train travel,” the Swiss Federal Railways said in a statement.

Reporting by Michael Shields and John Miller, editing by John Revill and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

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