Build up the pressure. Show the Federal Council that promises to end the crisis will not be enough. And that they must be accompanied by firm commitments. On Saturday, the former deputy director of the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) Andreas Faller (now director of the “Liberal health system” agreement, an organization that wants to “detect the flaws” of our health system ) took his quill and his address book to write to the government. The result is a two-page letter in the form of a group shot since it is signed by several right-wing parliamentarians as well as by the leaders of the country’s largest umbrella organizations (economiesuisse, USAM, GastroSuisse, etc.).
The letter is structured around four points: vaccines, tests, “covid-free” certificate and supply of medical equipment. On the third, the authors of the letter ask that the Federal Council “take in hand as soon as possible article 6 of the Covid-19 law”. Created by Parliament during the spring session, it provides for a document “issued on request”, “personal, tamper-proof and, in compliance with data protection, verifiable”. “As far as possible” it should be able to be used for travel abroad.
Technical solution to explore
“We still do not know how will be entered individually for each inhabitant the results of tests, vaccinations carried out as well as people cured”, we regret in the letter. Clearly, the signatories expect that a “technical solution eliminating any risk of falsification and uniform throughout Switzerland” is operational before the beginning of June 2021 throughout the territory.
This echoes statements from Brussels, which last week presented its own ‘digital green certificate’ or ‘Covid-EU card’, which is expected to be in place by the end of May. Concretely, this will be a form (digital or paper) attesting to the possible vaccination of its carrier, proof of recent negative tests or information on his post-Covid state of health (with a view to possible immunity). ). The European Commission has proposed in Berne to develop the same tool, which the signatories clearly want to see materialized as soon as possible.
“When we developed this request, we did not yet know that the EU was going to present this, explains Andreas Faller on Sunday by telephone. But this is great news and Switzerland must immediately start negotiations with the EU. ” Will the solution have to be provided by the Confederation or by private companies? “We are open. Bern must in any case define the framework conditions to limit the risks of falsification. But there is no point in having dozens of companies each developing their own apps, as in the case of restaurants last year. We have to unify that. ”
He considers it quite realistic to achieve this before the end of May. “We spoke to specialists, it is not too complicated technology to set up. And if we can be grafted onto the European initiative, that would be even better. ”
The possible distrust of citizens, particularly marked during the launch of the SwissCovid tracking app, does not worry Andreas Faller. “SwissCovid made you take the risk of being quarantined for nothing. While this new solution will allow you to travel, to return to sporting events… It is the decisive step to find normality. ”
Vaccines, testing and supplies
The letter addresses three other points. On vaccination, the authors want “all people who wish to be able to be vaccinated before the end of June 2021”. In this regard, they fear the reservations expressed in this regard by the Federal Council during the spring session and “invite” the government to “constantly and openly inform on the progress” of this project.
On the test campaign, if they welcome the promise made by Berne to offer free tests (up to a billion francs), they are surprised that the campaign has not yet started. They also “invite” the Federal Council to “present a concept of implementation at the same time as the provision of free tests by the end of March 2021”.
Political pressure … and media
It also discusses the security of the supply of medical equipment. Following the shortages observed last year (masks, disinfectants, etc.), the authors note that the response provided by the Federal Council is a report from the FOPH expected “at the earliest in early 2022”. “Clearly too late”, they regret, by “inviting” here also the Federal Council to present by September a concept “strengthening the security of supply of important medical equipment and drugs”, in agreement with d other European states and Swiss companies which have turned their production upside down to fill this gap.
Sunday on the phone, between two interviews, Andreas Faller summed up: “yes, we are putting pressure on it. But we are in the middle of a crisis, name of a pipe. The administration must work harder! Do you realize that I sent this letter this weekend but didn’t even receive an acknowledgment from the Chancellery? The media were much more reactive… ”At least that objective will have been reached.