Switzerland ranked number 1 for dealing with COVID-19 and safety - here's why

STUDY

Our country is ahead of Germany and Israel in the ranking drawn up by the Deep Knowledge Group at the beginning of June - Switzerland's strengths in pandemic management involve the healthcare system, the economy and the Federal Council's response

Switzerland ranked number 1 for dealing with COVID-19 and safety - here's why
CAPTION: People relaxing on the banks of the Aare in Canton Bern. © Keystone/Anthony Anex

Switzerland ranked number 1 for dealing with COVID-19 and safety - here's why

CAPTION: People relaxing on the banks of the Aare in Canton Bern. © Keystone/Anthony Anex

"It's all true", a popular sports newspaper across the border would headline. "Champions of the world", another would say. This, however, isn't about football. The issue is much more important and sensitive: the healthcare, welfare and economic security of a country in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. And yes, it's all true: we're at the top of the summit. In the study published at the beginning of June by the Deep Knowledge Group, an international consortium of commercial and non-profit organisations specialising in the analysis of scientific and economic data, Switzerland ranks first with 752 points, 3 more than Germany and 4 more than Israel. In fourth place Singapore and in fifth we find Japan. Among neighbouring countries, Austria is sixth, Italy 53rd and France 60th. Powers such as the United States and Great Britain occupy 58th and 68th spot respectively. China is seventh.

The facts and figures

The dossier took into consideration 200 regions, nations and territories, analysing 11.400 entries through 130 quantitative and qualitative parameters, divided into 6 main categories: 1) quarantine effectiveness, 2) government efficiency in risk management, 3) case monitoring and identification, 4) healthcare response, 5) regional resilience, 6) emergency preparedness. The numbers speak for themselves: we've done very well so far. "Switzerland's current top ranking - the study states - is largely due to the continuing decline in infection and mortality rates, but also to key factors that put the country's post-pandemic economy in a better position.

Fast and effective response

"From the very beginning, Switzerland and Germany were close to the European epicentre of the pandemic," the press release accompanying the 250-page report underlines. "Both countries have passed very critical stress tests, successfully applying rapid and effective confinement measures, monitoring and detection of infections, patient admission and care, economic slowdown and support, avoiding the overload of the healthcare system". The recent and gradual abandonment of lockdowns and the restart of economic and social activities, the researchers add, "are tangible proof of success".

The reasons for success

What took us to first place, considering that a previous assessment, from April, put us in eleventh? The dossier highlights the strengths, but also the weaknesses of the Swiss response to the coronavirus. First the good news. "Switzerland - emphasizes the Deep Knowledge Group - guarantees access to high-level healthcare services for the entire community and has ample capacity to mobilise new healthcare resources (e.g. entire specialist hospitals)". In addition, the Federal Council "has shown optimal capabilities in risk management by rapidly taking financial measures to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the national economy and to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to withstand the impact". The Swiss economy itself has so far demonstrated "a high level of resilience to pandemic threats".

The weaknesses

As mentioned, there are also weak points. To begin with, "the decentralised nature of the Swiss healthcare system makes data collection difficult". The high number of chronic illnesses has also "increased the risks associated with the coronavirus". The government's investment in health prevention is also judged to be low: "Switzerland should consider focusing more on preventive medicine in public hospitals and clinics". The geographical proximity with Italy and France "also increased the risk of infection".

Challenges and opportunities

The crisis, according to the study, is also bringing opportunities to light. In the case of Switzerland, for example, mention is made of the development of digitisation in healthcare, but also of the importance of building bridges between public and private facilities in terms of technological resources. In our country there are also the conditions to gradually expand policies that can boost the economy by stimulating the digital consumption of goods and services.

Threats to consider

Far from being over, the global emergency requires constant attention. The study highlights a number of threats that Switzerland will continue to face. "The reopening process requires a robust epidemiological surveillance plan: Switzerland has proceeded with caution and care, but must remain extremely vigilant and adaptable to respond to any changes and avoid a resumption of contagion. Other risk factors are "the marked ageing of the population" and "economic dependence on exports".

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata

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