GENEVA — Switzerland’s federal government says it will start paying for all coronavirus tests in the country from Thursday.
The executive Federal Council also confirmed the SwissCovid mobile phone app to help trace coronavirus cases will be made operational for the public starting on Thursday. The app works by notifying people who have spent a certain time near a person who turns out to have been positive for the coronavirus, as long as they both have the app on their phones.
Up to now, the tests have been paid by Swiss regions and private health insurers. But the government said that set-up “meant that not all patients have been treated equally,” and carried the risk that some people might be “reluctant to get themselves tested if they had to bear the costs themselves."
The flat-rate reimbursements will be 169 Swiss francs (about $179) for coronavirus tests and 113 francs for antibody tests.
As of Wednesday, the country of about 8.2 million people had seen 31,376 people testing positive for coronavirus, with 44 new cases over the last 24 hours. Switzerland has recorded 1,682 coronavirus-related deaths.