When will the Covid pandemic end in Switzerland?

Could the pandemic be over in Switzerland by the time the snow melts? Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash
Could the pandemic be over in Switzerland by the time the snow melts? Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash
That question in on many people’s minds, in Switzerland and elsewhere. And while nobody has a crystal ball, some epidemiologists say the health crisis may be nearing its end soon, thanks to Omicron.

Is it possible that, even amid soaring infections impacting the healthcare system, the Covid pandemic may actually be winding down in Switzerland?

It is a possibility, health specialists say.

According to Rudolf Hauri from the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors, “we will overcome most of the pandemic by the spring, as the baseline immunity will be high enough”.

That’s because the highly contagious Omicron variant, which is now dominant in Switzerland, will infect at least 50 percent of the country’s population in a few weeks’ time, said Richard Neher, member of the Covid-19 Task Force.

READ MORE: Omicron officially dominant in Switzerland

All that’s needed is for the Omicron variant to continue to spread at the rapid current rate, he added.

Epidemiologist Christian Drosten is also optimistic about the end of the pandemic.

Fully vaccinated individuals may soon be living in a “completely normal state and the pandemic will be over for these people”, although masks may still have to be worn in closed public places for some time, he said.

Infectious disease specialist Huldrych Günthard from University Hospital Zurich sees a positive evolution on the health front  as well.

“The pandemic should be over by the summer”, as long as ​​more people are vaccinated, and the unvaccinated become infected, he said.

These are best-case scenarios for Switzerland, but they can become a reality only if certain conditions are met.

For Günthard, it is that no vaccine-resistant variant appears in the meantime.

And some more jabs may be necessary to finally overcome the pandemic, according to Drosten.

In addition to current boosters, “a fourth vaccination adapted to the Omicron variant” in the summer could be “necessary for everyone in order to end the pandemic. For groups at risk or the elderly, the fifth shot may even be necessary in the winter of 2022”, he noted.

READ MORE: IN NUMBERS: Which Swiss cantons have most Omicron cases?

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