The cantons vented their anger even before Health Minister Alain Berset (48) left the lectern last Friday. The conference of cantonal health directors announced that it was disappointed with the Federal Council’s decision to postpone most of the easing. They also recorded what they expect from the state government. Namely, that in the next steps it “also takes into account the vaccination progress and broader testing”.
But when it comes to broad testing, the cantons are not making any progress themselves. According to the “SonntagsZeitung”, most of the cantons still have no plan as to how they want to carry out mass tests in schools and companies – and whether at all. The St. Gallen government, for example, has only just confirmed that it will refrain from regular preventive tests. There are also no preventive mass tests at schools in Zurich, Thurgau and Basel-Stadt. With the latter, of all things, not in the canton in which Lukas Engelberger (45), President of the Conference of Health Directors, is a member of the government.
Far from test target
Lucerne, Solothurn, Schwyz, Freiburg, the Vaud and the Valais will not decide until the next few weeks, according to the “SonntagsZeitung”, whether and to what extent their pilot projects will be expanded for widespread testing. Meanwhile, the canton of Basel-Landschaft is making progress. Extensive testing is also due to take place soon in Aargau and Bern.
Given the reluctance of many cantons, the Federal Council’s goal of 40 percent of the population being tested weekly will hardly be achieved in the foreseeable future. Each person can go to the pharmacy or the test center and do a quick test for free. But the main focus of the Swiss test strategy, as envisaged by the Federal Council, is actually on the area tests at companies and schools, because they can be carried out much more systematically there.
SBB do not participate
The state-affiliated companies are also hesitating. The SBB announced that they would “not actively” test their staff. And this, although the train attendants are constantly on the move and thus exposed to a certain risk of infection. The federal railways shift the responsibility on to the employees. You could have yourself tested free of charge if you have mild symptoms of the disease.
Swiss Post does not want to systematically test its employees either. A spokesman in the “SonntagsZeitung” is quoted as saying that “company-wide mass tests” are not being carried out at the moment. Whether and where one will accept offers from the cantons is still being checked. Swisscom also does not consider mass tests to be necessary, as BLICK recently reported. (lha)
Published: March 21, 2021, 12:26 p.m.
Last updated: 21.03.2021, 12 minutes ago
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federal companies reluctant corona mass tests