More than 400 leading experts, scientists, representatives of ministries of health from 78 countries met at WHO’s Geneva Headquarters (Switzerland) to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus COVID-19 (previously known as 2019-nCoV).
The specialists of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) led by Vyacheslav Smolenskiy, Deputy Head of Rospotrebnadzor, took part in the Global Research & Innovation Forum held by WHO. Among the members of the delegation was Alexander Semenov, Deputy Director for Innovation of St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute.
During the Forum, the problems of epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis, prevention and prospects for the development of vaccines against the coronavirus COVID-19 were discussed. Overall, WHO assesses the spread of the new coronavirus infection as “rapid, difficult, confused, with serious knowledge gaps on the virus origin and its transmission patterns”. “One of the main objectives of the Forum is to reduce the level of anxiety among the population and send a message to society: the international community of experts and scientists, led by WHO, knows what to do and understands the virus they are dealing with,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The discussion was structured by areas of expertise: virology, epidemiology, clinical characterization and treatment, development of vaccines and medicines, social and behavioral research.
The scientists discussed and formed together a priority scientific research program in response to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).Its implementation will be monitored by WHO R&D Blueprint (WHO special group that coordinates the rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics).
The exchange of views and the results of the meeting showed that the current research in Russia on the new COVID-19 virus, in particular the development of diagnostic tools and vaccines, is competitive and efficient and based on advanced technologies.
Note: An outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China, caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) has been reported in late December 2019. The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency. Coronavirus cases have also been reported in 24 other countries, including Russia. According to WHO, as of 14 February 2020, no new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, according to a report from China, 14,840 cases of the disease were reported per night, (3,332 cases clinically diagnosed). The total number of people infected with coronavirus exceeds 46,997 (1,826 new): in China - 46,550 laboratory-confirmed cases (1,820 new) with 1,368 (254 new) people reported to have died from the disease; outside China - 447 laboratory-confirmed cases (6 new ).