“Effective Swiss restrictions” – RSI Swiss Radio and Television

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A new study shows that border closures, lockdowns and contact tracing have been effective in Switzerland during the pandemic. To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed more than 11,000 genomic sequences of the virus in 2020.

“For 2020, it was one of the largest studies in the world in this area. Before the pandemic, only a few hundred genes were sequenced for studies of this type,” Tanja Stadler, head of research, told Keystone-ATS. The professor at ETH Zurich (ETH) was the chairman of the federal government’s Covid-19 science task force from August 2021 until it was dissolved.

Efficacy measured on genomic data

According to Stadler, infections imported into Switzerland have decreased by as much as 90% since the closure of the borders. Results that suggest that the episodes of infections in the Confederation could be successfully decoupled from abroad, write the authors of the study, published today in the famous specialized journal “Science Translational Medicine”. Furthermore, the duration of persistence of imported viruses in the population was reduced by about half at the time of the lockdown compared to the post-lockdown period.

Finally, during periods when contact tracing was effective, the average number of people infected by an infected person halved. For fall 2020, however, the researchers failed to demonstrate any effect of contact tracing. “We explain it with the work overload these days,” explained Stadler.

The advantage of the study lies in the extent of the data examined. “The effectiveness of these measures had already been demonstrated previously in qualitative studies. We quantified this based on genomic data,” Stadler said.

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Posted on:
January 25, 2023, 8:05 pm


Last edited on:
January 25, 2023, 8.45pm


The article is in Italian

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