WHO unveils new pandemic pathogen sleuth squad

 Reuters / Denis Balibous
  • The WHO introduced earlier this yr that it will arrange a Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).
  • Apart from the COVID-19 disaster, a rising variety of high-risk pathogens have appeared or reappeared in recent times.
  • Group should give the WHO unbiased analysis of all obtainable scientific, technical findings from international research on origins of COVID-19.

GENEVA: The World Well being Organisation unveiled Wednesday a proposed group of scientists tasked with taking a look at new pathogens and stopping future pandemics — plus reviving the stalled probe into COVID-19’s origins.

The group of 26 consultants will likely be charged with producing a brand new international framework for research into the origins of rising pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential. Their remit consists of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 illness.

Apart from the COVID-19 disaster, a rising variety of high-risk pathogens have appeared or reappeared in recent times, together with MERS, hen flu viruses, Lassa, Marburg and Ebola.

The WHO introduced earlier this yr that it will arrange a Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).

“The emergence of latest viruses with the potential to spark epidemics and pandemics is a truth of nature, and whereas SARS-CoV-2 is the newest such virus, it is not going to be the final,” mentioned WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Understanding the place new pathogens come from is crucial for stopping future outbreaks with epidemic and pandemic potential and requires a broad vary of experience.

“We’re very happy with the calibre of consultants chosen for SAGO from around the globe, and look ahead to working with them to make the world safer.”

Speedy recommendation

The 26 proposed members, chosen from a subject of greater than 700 functions and drawn from a variety of disciplines, are topic to a two-week public session.

They embody Christian Drosten, the pinnacle of Berlin’s Institute of Virology.

A number of the consultants had been on the joint WHO-China scientific mission investigating the origins of Covid-19: Marion Koopmans of the Netherlands, and Hung Nguyen from Vietnam.

In keeping with the phrases of reference, the group should give the WHO an unbiased analysis of all obtainable scientific and technical findings from international research on the origins of COVID-19.

It should additionally advise the UN well being company on creating, monitoring and supporting the following collection of research into the origins of the virus, together with “speedy recommendation” on the WHO’s operational plans to implement the following collection of research into the pandemic’s origins and advise on extra research.

The WHO believes it’s vitally essential to uncover the origins of the worst pandemic in a century.

It’s recognized to have killed greater than 4.85 million folks and has battered the worldwide economic system because the virus was first detected within the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan in December 2019.

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