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Government "ready for pandemic"

Switzerland is among the best-prepared European countries for a bird flu pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A WHO evaluation carried out last October shows that the Swiss authorities' plans to counter an outbreak are well advanced.

The organisation praised in particular the flexibility of the government's command structure in the event of a pandemic.

It said the authorities should now consider regular training exercises rather than trying to build on plans that are already very detailed. The WHO experts also suggested making information on how to deal with a pandemic more widely available.

The Federal Health Office said it had already begun to implement the WHO recommendations, including setting up a coordination platform with all the cantons to deal with issues such as mass vaccinations.

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