Swiss open mass vaccination centres in Geneva and Lausanne

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Staff prepare a COVID-19 vaccination center as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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GENEVA, April 19 (Reuters) - Switzerland expanded its capacity to inoculate people against COVID-19 on Monday, opening mass vaccination centres in cities including Geneva and Lausanne.

The number of cases has continued to steadily rise in the Alpine country over the past weeks. It increased by 4,905 since Friday, according to figures published on Monday, taking the total to 637,304, with 16 additional deaths.

A large vaccination centre opened at Palexpo in Geneva, a convention centre that normally hosts the annual International Motor Show, cancelled this year and last due to the pandemic.

"The centre opens today with a capacity of 2,000 vaccinations per day and as soon as we're able to increase that, it can quickly go to 3,000 or 4,000 shots per day, that is huge," cantonal doctor Nathalie Vernaz told Reuters.

In Lausanne, the largest centre in the canton of Vaud opened at Palais de Beaulieu, which aims to vaccinate 14,000 people a week, a statement said.

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Reporting by Denis Balibouse, writing by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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