You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected.
-Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), 16 March 2020
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization was notified about a cluster of pneumonia of unknown origin in the city of Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities later identified a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) as the causative agent of the outbreak.
Switzerland confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in February 2020. One year later, the public health emergency of international concern continues. International research has already produced several vaccines and life-saving treatments, but intensive transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has also resulted in new variants that could threaten these gains.
The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern conducts research in the fields of epidemiology, mathematical modelling, phylogenomics and evidence synthesis. We continue to provide information and resources about the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic for scientists, public health experts, journalists, and the public.
Several researchers of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine are or have been members of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force that assists the authorities in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis: