April 1, 2020 / 12:46 PM / 2 months ago

Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 378, positive tests hit 17,139

A civil defence worker wears a protection mask as he checks the papers of a car driver before he can enter a drive-in test center for tests on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), next to the sign that reads: "Only on advance notification. Close windows.", in Luzern, Switzerland March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss death toll from the coronavirus has reached 378, the country’s public health ministry said on Wednesday, rising from 373 people a day earlier as Switzerland prepares additional measures to mitigate the epidemic’s economic hit.

The number of positive tests also increased to 17,139 from 16,176 on Tuesday, the ministry added.

The Swiss government is preparing to expand an emergency liquidity programme for coronavirus-hit businesses, as banks have already handed out more than half of the 20 billion Swiss francs ($20.70 billion) set aside for state-backed loans.

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

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