23.11.2022 – A group of researchers associated with the Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID) wrote a thesis paper on behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) as input for the current revision of the Swiss Epidemics Act (EpidA).
The existing Epidemics Act (EpidA) in Switzerland defines a three-stage escalation model which defines a normal, a special, and an extraordinary epidemic situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a test for this escalation model and revealed the need for a revision of the Epidemics Act.
The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) started a revision project in 2021 and commissioned a group of researchers that are associated with the newly established Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID) at the University of Bern to critically examine the application and implementation of the escalation model in the past with a specific focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by PD Dr. Christian Althaus from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) and Dr. Caroline Schlaufer from the KPM Center for Public Management, the researchers provided six recommendations for the further development of the escalation model. Consideration of these recommendations in the revision of the Epidemics Act should facilitate the application of the escalation model, significantly improve its utility, and thus enable timely decision-making and early control of communicable diseases.