The next pandemic is only a matter of time. To prevent and fight epidemics and pandemics, Switzerland needs versatile and complementary tools. Switzerland has what it takes to position itself as a leader in pathogen surveillance. Investing in pandemic preparedness is worthwhile because it reduces high societal and economic losses.
Pour Demain's recommendations for biosecurity take into account the entire chain of
action: Prevent → Detect → Respond
Prevent epidemics and pandemics (Prevent)
Solid planning: The federal government's pandemic scenarios are based on international best practices and are not too optimistic, especially the worst-case scenario.
Animal-human interface: Switzerland is internationally committed to reducing production practices that are linked to disease outbreaks. The national surveillance of animal diseases will be strengthened.
Cooperate internationally: Funding for international pandemic prevention should become an integral part of the Epidemics Act and will be independent of development cooperation (e.g. CEPI, GARDP). Switzerland supports the WHO and the WHO accord on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response as a leading actor.
Global health remains a focus of international cooperation, as strong health systems in the poorest countries also protect Switzerland.
Implement capacity building program for biosecurity and biosafety: Switzerland is launching a training program to support capacity building in countries with increased biological risks.
Strengthen Biological Weapons Convention: Additional staff foster the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva, which monitors biological weapons.
Increase laboratory safety: Switzerland strengthens safety laboratories, similar to the safety culture in aviation (in particular through unannounced audits at least every two years, transparent reporting of incidents, and personnel security checks).
Detect pathogens (Detect)