Epidemiologists criticize BAG for travel harassment

BAG’s new quarantine list is causing red heads to appear. While Germans and French flock to Switzerland by the thousands, other countries are being harassed.

The basics in brief

  • BAG criticizes many countries on the quarantine list due to the Omikron issue.
  • Travel restrictions have been met with little understanding, even by epidemiologists.

Omicron: A Greek message that makes the whole world hold its breath. According to preliminary results, the coronavirus mutation detected in South Africa is said to be more contagious than the dominant delta variant.

Many countries reacted to this discovery immediately and brutally – including Switzerland. Over the weekend, the Federal Office of Public Health called federal states a case discovered on its quarantine list.

Germans allowed, Belgians and Danes not allowed

Even vaccinated Swiss and tourists from the UK, Czech Republic or Belgium have to lock themselves out for ten days. “We responded immediately,” Health Minister Alain Berset proudly announced on Sunday.

The travel restrictions are meant to slow the spread of the boom in Switzerland. How successful this is when tens of thousands of people cross the Swiss borders every day into Italy, France, Austria and Germany. After all, Omikron has long arrived in Switzerland, but certainly in Germany.

Task force member criticizes quarantine lists

Criticism of the authorities’ crackdown comes from unfamiliar circles. Richard Nir, a member of the Science Task Force, believes, for example: “These restrictions spoil people’s lives and hurt the economy.”

The virus regulator at the University of Basel also wrote that restrictions could be beneficial in the short term in order to slow the spread.

But they won’t be able to keep the mutant away forever and “punish states with good surveillance and transparent reporting.”

Do you welcome the renewed quarantine list in the fight against Omicron?

In fact, the variant may not even come from South Africa. Not surprisingly, the South African health minister has gone in a similar direction. Joe Falla said Friday night that the entry ban on his citizens was “unjustified”.

Epidemiologist: Travel restrictions ‘extremely harmful’

Even epidemiologist Emma Hodcroft, who has never been noted as an opponent of harsh measures, is highly critical of travel harassment. “It is extremely malicious and can prevent countries from sharing their data,” she wrote on Twitter.

In the past, such quarantine lists have lasted longer than they have been useful. It is important to take measures that work rather than act in a regressive manner, says the researcher at the University of Bern.

The Federal Office of Public Health has yet to respond to questions about the meaning and nonsense of the latest measures.

More on this topic:

University of Bern coronavirus data Alain Berset

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