With the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 (COVID-19), the global sense of crisis is growing with infected people and deaths appearing in China, Korea, Japan as well as the United States.
In the midst of this, President Bill Gates, who leads the Bill & Melinda Foundation, presented a statistical overview of Corona 19 and a simple and long-term response method. The Foundation is the world’s largest charitable organization dedicated to improving poverty, health care and education worldwide. Until now, it has invested large amounts of money in an organization called the GAVI Vaccine Alliance and the Polio Eradication Initiative GPEI. This announcement is also in line with this trend.
Bill Gates said the world now needs to save lives and improve how it responds to an outbreak. The former is more urgent, but the second has serious consequences in the long run. In other words, it is putting forward a plan to block the spread immediately and prevent similar outbreaks in the future.
Here’s a summary of what he says. First, Corona 19 statistics. Data so far suggests that the fatal risk of Corona 19 is 1%. This fatality rate is several times more severe than the typical seasonal influenza, and lies somewhere between the 0.6% mortality rate in 1957 and the 2% flu in 1918.
The average coronavirus infection spreads the disease to two to three other people. This is an exponential rate of increase. Corona 19 has already occurred 10 times more than SARS in about a quarter of the time.
Then, what is Bill Gates’ response to Corona 19? First of all, in addition to supporting the response of their own citizens, the donor government should support low- and middle-income countries to prepare for this epidemic. Supporting the preparation of African and South Asian countries could save lives and delay the spread of the virus worldwide. Bill Gates has also commissioned a $100 million coronavirus fund focused on developing countries, among others.
He also said that the global corona19 treatment and prevention work should be accelerated. Using a library of compounds that have already been tested for safety, new auditing techniques, including machine learning, can be applied to accelerate the development of new drugs by specifying antiviral drugs that can respond to large-scale clinical trials within weeks.
Next is how to prevent the spread of a virus like Corona 19 in the future. First, he says it is essential to help low-income countries strengthen their primary health care system. They should also invest in global disease surveillance, including case databases that can be quickly accessed by relevant organizations and rules that mandate countries to share information.
Governments have access to a list of trained personnel from local leaders to world-class experts. Global experts need to be prepared to react immediately to this trend. Safe and effective vaccines and antiviral drugs need to be developed, approved, and established systems that will deliver billions of doses in months from fast-moving pathogen discovery.
In addition, it is necessary to develop a platform with predictable safety. Therefore, regulatory review should be conducted quickly so that manufacturers can easily manufacture large-scale capacities at low cost. Other technical challenges include constructs based on nucleic acids. These structures are created within hours of the virus’s genome sequence being determined. It means finding a way to produce it on a large scale now.
Diplomatic efforts are needed to promote international cooperation and data sharing. Antiviral and vaccine development includes cross-border clinical trials and licensing agreements. The budget for these efforts must be expanded several times. Billions of dollars are needed to complete all trials and obtain regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, and more money is needed to improve disease surveillance and response. Related information can be found here .