Covid sceptics should be denied hospital beds, says economist

Passers-by in Lucerne sticking to the health regulations Keystone

“Corona rebels” should be dealt with more toughly, for example hefty  fines for not wearing a mask, says Willy Oggier, a Swiss health economist.

This content was published on November 17, 2020

“I also propose that Covid sceptics be entered into a register and forfeit their right to an emergency bed or place in an intensive care unit in the event of a shortage,” Oggier said in an interviewExternal link with Tamedia newspapers on Tuesday. “Anyone charged with wilfully disregarding social distancing and hygiene rules should bear responsibility for their actions.”

He explained that from an economic point of view “the more relaxed the measures, the more strictly they must be enforced – otherwise we won’t be able to control the infection rates quickly enough”.

Oggier said he had recently repeatedly seen people at Zurich’s main train station resist the requests of railway police to wear a mask. “That’s just not on!” he said, calling for railway police and private security services to be able to issue fines.

When it was suggested to Oggier that withholding hospital treatment for bad behaviour sounded more like China than Switzerland, he said he was just talking about bottlenecks.

“When hospitals reach their limits, doctors can’t avoid deciding who gets the last bed. I think it’s fairer for a self-proclaimed Covid rebel to lose out rather than for the finger to be pointed simply at the oldest patient in the room.”

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