The Swiss are tired - yet we must not waste our efforts

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Federal Councilor Alain Berset is concerned about the increase in infections and urges the public to continue to be vigilant

The Swiss are tired - yet we must not waste our efforts
The Swiss are tired, but we can’t waste our efforts © KEYSTONE / Peter Schneider

The Swiss are tired - yet we must not waste our efforts

The Swiss are tired, but we can’t waste our efforts © KEYSTONE / Peter Schneider

Lockdowns at the local level are not unthinkable, the decision rests with individual cantons

On a visit to the canton of St. Gallen, Federal Councillor Alain Berset said he was concerned today about the upward trend in confirmed cases of COVID-19, a phenomenon that affects the whole world, including neighbouring countries.

During a press conference, Berset admitted the existence of widespread fatigue across the population for this ongoing situation, but invited the Swiss to continue to be careful - so that what has been achieved so far is not wasted.

Berset said, urged by a journalist, that he wanted to avoid as far as possible a semi-confinement such as that of last spring, taking into account the consequences that this would have on a social and economic level.

However, local lockdowns are not unthinkable, but it is a matter for the cantons. On the other hand, the latter have already exploited these skills, for example by closing nightclubs or other public gatherings to stem the epidemic. The health minister did not rule out federal support for contact tracing, but also said that neither civilian service nor soldiers are ideal tools for such a task.

Regarding the possibility that the government announces the extraordinary situation such as the one in March, claiming the competences to itself he explained that he wanted to avoid resorting to the emergency law if possible. At that time, the Friborgese explained, many complained that the Confederation wanted all power for itself. As long as possible, he added, we intend to maintain the current federalist structure.

Regarding the strategy of the Confederation, the federal councillor stressed that the latter is flexible, constantly evolving, as has been the case for 8 months now. Regarding a national mask obligation, Berset brought the ball back to the cantonal court, arguing that similar measures should be taken taking into account the local situation. In the event of an increase in hospitalisations, we can talk about global measures.

As for the demonstrations, Berset praised the so far irreproachable behaviour of spectators, especially in sport, and stressed that the protection plans work. The minister explained how important these appointments are for the company, which feels the need to meet.

With regards to the tests, the socialist minister argued that quick tests are being prepared, but that other materials are still needed. The Federal Office of Public Health is reviewing the tests with a view to their certification. At the moment, Switzerland is using half of its daily analysis capabilities (10-24 thousand tests up to a maximum of 35 thousand). The goal, he said, is to do everything possible so that the virus does not spread among the elderly, that is, the categories most at risk.

According to Berset, hospitals are not under pressure at the moment, but there will certainly be an increase in hospitalisations in the coming weeks, which is why we need to prepare.

Before the press conference began, Alain Berset paid a visit to the football stadium of the St. Gallen Super League team to get an idea of ​​the plan to fight the pandemic. He later met with representatives of the cantonal government on the premises of the cantonal hospital.

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata

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