© Reuters. A sign of Hospital Battalion 2 of the Swiss army is pictured during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Neuchatel
By Emma Farge and Cecile Mantovani
NEUCHATEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – In a Swiss hospital, the tall young soldier adjusts the heavy hospital bed in which an elderly woman with coronavirus is coughing deeply and wheels her out of the emergency ward.
Head nurse Christophe Galzin is delighted to be getting the extra help. “They (the soldiers) are very strong,” he said.
The Swiss army, which has not been mobilized since World War Two and then only in defensive mode, has been deployed to help healthcare workers on the frontline of Switzerland’s war against coronavirus.
Switzerland now has nearly 10,000 confirmed cases and over 100 deaths. It shares a border with Italy, the country worst affected worldwide by the virus, and with France, also badly hit.
Despite its wealth,…