Corona Reduit is a private, voluntary and temporary self-isolation of Covid-19 risk patients in vacant hotels and holiday flats of the Swiss Alps.
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Corona Reduit is a private, voluntary and temporary self-isolation of Covid-19 risk patients in vacant hotels and holiday flats of the Swiss Alps as a national undertaking. This resembles the military reduits of the past. Its purpose is to keep the invisible enemy away from the weakest members of society until the worst is over. It’s about buying time.
The isolation of risk groups in agglomerations with high population density is very challenging and yields a lot of undesired side effects. The low risk majority of the population sacrifices a lot for the risk groups. A voluntary temporary self-isolation of risk groups mitigates the problem for everybody as well as reduces the pressure on the health care system, because the risk of infection of participating risk persons is significantly reduced. From an economic point of view, the project makes up for some of the vanished demand in the hotel industry and the tourism dependent mountain regions. Additionally, low risk persons can gradually return to normal life which has social and economic benefits.
According to Swiss and international official data, the group of high-risk patients is clearly identifiable. They are people of retirement age with >95% severe pre-existing conditions (obesity, heart, hypertension, respiratory, diabetes). The median age of death is over 80 years. Men make up 60% of Swiss casualties. Some of these people need care, others are independent. The offer may be extended to both groups. However, independent people are more easily integrated. The group of risk patients may be narrowed down via antibody testing of already immune people.
Healthy negatively-tested risk persons or their relatives may register voluntarily with hotels on a website for which a prototype exists. Analogous registration is also possible, e.g. via phone or paper form. The conditions of participation are privately agreed upon in a reduit contract. Compared to normal circumstances in the hotel business, enhanced hygiene precautions are necessary, for which best practices were envisioned. The role of the government should be subsidiary and mostly decentralized on a county level to encourage quick decision making and flexibility.
There are at least 65’000 hotel rooms in the Swiss Alps. Some locations are better suited than others (altitude, infrastructure, beds). Hotels with gardens and robust infrastructure are preferred. Participation of hotels is voluntary as well. Owners of holiday apartments may also join the effort.
Realization takes some time. In the short term, it will mostly occur individually. Looking ahead, a second wave of infections is likely to occur in autumn/winter 2020/21 or even when the lockdown is loosened. This allows for a more detailed and coordinated plan to be set up. The duration is dependent on the epidemiological progression (herd immunity) and improvements in the treatment of disease and public hygiene. The voluntarist approach allows for an individual termination of participation at all times, though.
A spot in a nursing home costs at most 8’000 CHF per month and person which is used as an indication. These costs should be financed by the federal government. It thereby protects life, reduces the burden on the healthy majority of the population and supports the heavily impacted hotel industry and mountain regions.
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