Switzerland announces five-point plan to defeat coronavirus by spring 2022
Medical experts from the government and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland have released a new five-point plan to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the alpine nation by March 2022. Health experts hope that all Swiss cantons will have COVID under control by the spring and be able to relax some of the coronavirus restrictions.
Five-point plan to end the COVID crisis in Switzerland
In preparation for the months ahead, medical experts and the head of medical services in all cantons have put together a five-point plan to deal with COVID before herd immunity arrives. One of the authors of the plan and immunology expert at the University of Lausanne, Daniel Speiser, made the point that COVID will never completely disappear, but a move to normalising the virus was the main step forward.
Population immunity against coronavirus
Through continued infection and vaccination, Speiser predicted that the virus will be able to circulate “relatively harmlessly,” especially if people get the vaccine. He said that around 80 percent of the adult population would need to be immunised for the pandemic to be declared over.
Booster COVID vaccination for the elderly
Alongside first vaccinations, Speiser said it was now time to start offering booster shots for the elderly and most vulnerable. He claimed that every subsequent booster improves immunity to COVID and that those who received the jab in April and May 2021 should be able to receive another vaccine. The Swiss government has been planning a new booster campaign, to become active by November at the earliest.
Normalising Swiss COVID-19 restrictions
Speiser made it clear that if someone were to refuse vaccination “they should accept the associated temporary restrictions, as a compromise.” Protests over COVID restrictions have become a regular feature of Swiss cities over the past few weeks, which medical experts hope will simmer down as restrictions become normalised.
Avoiding a winter spike of COVID in Switzerland
Speaking alongside Speiser, the President of the Swiss Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Public Health (GDK), Lukas Engelberger, said Switzerland should try to avoid the crisis that beset the country last winter. He said that the mistakes seen throughout 2020 could not be repeated and that "if we can be restrained this winter, we will progress a lot further in spring."
Calling for consistency with COVID measures
Concluding their statement, Engelberger and Speiser both emphasised that it is crucial that Switzerland maintain consistency with its regulations. Engelberger said that he would advise against voting to repeal the COVID-19 laws in Switzerland. His final point was that the current rules, such as COVID certificates, need to be followed to ensure the disease will dissipate as soon as possible.
COVID-19 pandemic may be over by spring in Switzerland
Speaking to the Sunday newspapers, Lukas Engelberger, said he was hoping the pandemic would be over by spring 2022. He said that in order to declare the crisis over, Switzerland “has to have the situation under control,” in reference to the number of patients in hospital and the strain on the Swiss healthcare system.
Prominent physician at Kantonsspital Winterthur, Urs Karrer, echoed the comments, noting that despite an increase in COVID cases there is still a positive sign that things will stabilise when the weather in Switzerland gets warmer. Speaking to 20 minuten, he claimed that “the Delta variant is so contagious that everyone living in Switzerland will come into contact with the virus by next spring," meaning that herd immunity is fairly likely.
Find out more about the current COVID restrictions in Switzerland
For more information on the current coronavirus measures in Switzerland, please consult the official government website.