Switzerland needs to improve the speed and quality of its coronavirus data to deal efficiently with a possible second wave of the virus, say government experts.
The country still does not have adequate information on the way the virus spreads, according to the government’s Covid-19 Task Force. Cantons need to coordinate better with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to provide a central data bank, but this is currently far from being the case, according to Task Force head Matthias Egger.
Data also needs to be sent more quickly to the FOPH, to allow the pandemic’s development to be tracked in real time, he told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in an interview published on Friday.
Egger said it was also important to conduct genetic analyses of the virus in all infected people. This would allow better tracking of the chains of transmission.
With an effective monitoring system, targeted measures could be put in place in the event of a local resurgence of the disease. Regional authorities could provide accurate information to the affected population or even temporarily close establishments to deal with an outbreak, according to the expert.
Epidemiologist Marcel Tanner, also a member of the Task Force, shares this view. Speaking in a separate interview with newspapers of the Tamedia group, he said that data entry was not fast enough and that some cantons had not committed themselves as much as others or lacked resources.