“The numbers have been falling for three weeks, the measures taken by the authorities, thanks in part to the discipline of the population,” he said on Thursday.
Berset appeared before the Bundeshaus media after a meeting with representatives of the cantons. The current situation and the next steps in the fight against the coronavirus were discussed. The health minister drew a positive conclusion: “At the beginning of November the situation was worrying, today it looks much better.” The situation remains very serious.
The policy approach has proven itself. “The measures only take effect if the population accepts them.” That is currently the case. Berset continued to appeal to the people’s discipline: “We need perseverance, have to go on for more months, we have to master this winter with our own resources.”
The Swiss corona strategy is a mix of self-discipline, personal responsibility and common sense, said Berset. “We can continue to live, there is no curfew, no lockdown like in other countries.”
Ski areas remain open
In order for the existing measures to be sufficient, they must continue to be implemented consistently, warned Berset. “The next few weeks are crucial.” Just because restaurants are reopening in some cantons doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. “We have to go all the way down with the numbers.” Only then will contact tracing be completely ensured again.
According to Berset, the Federal Council will discuss in December whether an additional package of measures is needed for the festive season. It is clear that the beginning of the winter season is a “pretty big challenge”. The experience of the first wave shows that the situation can quickly get out of control. “You need good protection concepts, strict implementation and maybe adjustments.”
However, Berset emphasized that the ski areas in Switzerland would remain open – regardless of what was decided in the surrounding countries. Switzerland is in contact with other countries.
Not yet the time for general relaxation
According to GDK President Lukas Engelberger, the situation in the corona pandemic is still serious. It is not yet time to talk about a general relaxation of the measures, he told the media in Bern on Thursday.
The President of the Cantonal Health Directors’ Conference (GDK) then appeared in front of the media together with Health Minister Berset.
Last time, on October 22nd, he said the situation was very serious, Engelberger recalled. Today he has to say that there is an improvement. “But the situation is still serious”. There are still too many infections, too many hospitalizations and too many deaths. The positivity rate in the tests is still clearly too high.
“It is not yet time to talk about a general relaxation of the measures. Our economy must also be aware of this, ”emphasized the GDK President. Now you shouldn’t relax so as not to run into a third wave.
Cooperation between the Confederation and the cantons will continue to be needed. “The hybrid engine with which we are on the road in Switzerland works.”
The vaccines were getting closer and the cantons were working with the federal government to plan transport, storage and distribution. The federal government, cantons and health insurers should share the costs among themselves. There will be no compulsory vaccination, said Engelberger. “We rely on the population’s willingness to vaccinate”.
About half of the deaths happen in nursing homes. They needed support, something from the army.
Addressing the entire population of Switzerland, Engelberger said: «Please be careful, even on Black Friday. If we are not careful now, we will pay the price on Christmas. “
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