at the beginning of the Corona-crisis, it was clear: Switzerland has a lack of protection masks for the fight against the pandemic. In doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and in the case of the army, the hygiene masks are scarce. So scarce that the health personnel must wear the existing for much longer than recommended.

While the Federal government and the cantons are in search of supplies, the question arises: How could it come so far? The pandemic plan, the Federal government has carefully determined how many protective masks are intended to store the health institutions for the case of an emergency. Hospitals are to be stored, therefore, at least as many masks as you need for four and a half months of normal operation, in the case of medical practices, there are 336 masks per doctor. And individuals should have at least 50 masks stashed away. However, it is recommendations. And even those that the current lack of shows are the least followed.

the Federal government and the cantons have responsibility

The Federal government holds clear that for the implementation of the Plan, each Institution is responsible. Also, the cantons are responsible for health, from pushing the responsibility to the hospitals and practices. And on every Single one. “Individuals can obtain hygiene masks in the retail trade for a little money for yourself”, say it in the Aargauer pandemic plan. From the point of view of the authorities is to blame, who now has no protective masks at the ready.

SVP national councillor, Magdalena Martullo-Blocher (50) – which had been ridiculed in Parliament, when they showed up with a mask – it can shake only the head. In their view, the Federal government is clearly in the duty. The Transport in Switzerland is difficult. “We at the Ems-Chemie began in January, to buy masks from China. The should also have the Federal government do,” she says to VIEW.

the Zurich-based Green national councillor Bastien Girod (39) criticises the Federal government. “It is undisputed: After the crisis prevention and dealing with pandemics in Switzerland have to be revised significantly,” he says. “The Federal Council and Parliament would much sooner meet a lot of radical measures.”

Federal government contradicts itself

in fact, the meaning and purpose of mask wearing is controversial – and even the Federal office for health (BAG) is self-contradictory. Pandemic response plan by 2018, the speech is still that protective masks reduced the overall risk of infection. “Mister Corona,” Daniel Koch (64) says, however, in the current crisis: “There is no proof, that face masks bring an extra level of protection.”

This argument has met with little understanding. The communication of the BAG was strange, commented Martullo-Blocher. “It is simply not true what you say. Hygiene masks have been tested in America to the Transfer of
viruses. The protection was over 95 percent.”

Also, for Bastien Girod is not clear why in Switzerland, unlike other States, until today the General population is advised not to wear masks. His suspicion: “I suspect the Federal government has chosen information strategy, only because there is a lack of masks. So if you want to prevent that in hospitals and other places where they are needed the most to bottlenecks.”

“We need protective masks!”

More understanding for the BAG, the Aargauer CVP national councillor and health politician Ruth Humbel (62) has. “I am a General mask duty skeptical,” she says. “I see a Jogger in the woods, wearing masks, and can’t imagine what good would that do.” It keeps the Argument of the BAG also is obvious that one risk with a protective mask, to forget the safety distance. In addition, masks are not a guarantee of not Contracting the disease – especially because you apply it all properly.

Girod on the other hand, this does not apply. A certain amount of self-responsibility stay, of course. “But just because masks are not useful always, there is no reason not to use them at all.”

This opinion is also Martullo-Blocher. She thinks, especially to the economy. The goal should be to bring these as quickly as possible Running again. “We need a lot of protective masks!”


The Coronavirus currently holds the world in suspense. Many countries are taking measures such as Closing schools or limiting public events, to prevent the spread. In Switzerland, too, the grass, the Virus magnetized. All of the current information and Figures around the topic there is in the Coronavirus-Ticker.