Swiss COVID task force "made a mistake" over 10.000 hospitalisation prediction

Swiss COVID task force "made a mistake" over 10.000 hospitalisation prediction

The Swiss COVID-19 Science Task Force has admitted it made a mistake in its forecast in late December, which predicted up to 10.000 hospital admissions due to Omicron. The task force made clear that its predictions were based on concrete data from other European countries, and that Switzerland was one of the first to deviate from previous modelling.

COVID forecast for Switzerland had been too gloomy

Speaking to Sunday newspapers, the head of the task force, Tanja Stadler, said that the worst-case scenario predicted in December had failed to materialise, and that the actual rate of hospitalisations was 25 to 30 percent lower than the best-case scenario. "Only” 1.100 people were admitted to Swiss healthcare each week, well below the task force’s worst fears.

Stadler agreed that the forecasts had “fortunately” been too gloomy. She went on to explain that the prediction was based on the best available data from other countries around the world and that Switzerland was one of the first countries where the rate of patient admissions to hospital declined in relation to the high number of COVID cases.

Task force was correct on case counts in Switzerland

“The risk of needing hospital treatment in the event of an infection has decreased more than in neighbouring countries,” Stadler confirmed. She also said that a healthy population and the fact fewer pensioners and older residents were infected with Omicron had an impact.

Despite conceding that their predictions were too extreme, the task force noted that they had successfully predicted the peak of the Omicron wave in mid-January, and their estimate that 30 to 40 percent of Swiss residents would be infected was also correct. Stadler confirmed that population immunity is now very high in Switzerland. “We made a mistake,” she added, “but our scenario, fortunately, didn’t materialise.”

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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