GloPID-R and its members mobilised in response to the Coronavirus Outbreak

On December 31, 2019, the WHO Office in China was informed that cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause had been detected in Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China. The Chinese authorities identified this to be a previously unknown type of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Cavallini James / BSIP / AFP

As of January 28, 2020, 4,515 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in China, including 976 severe cases. Countries affected are China including Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taipei; Australia; France; Japan; Malaysia; Nepal; Singapore; South Korea; Thailand; United States and Vietnam. Deaths from the disease stand currently at 106, all in China.

WHO, and the major players involved in infectious disease outbreaks worldwide, have reacted rapidly to this emerging epidemic. Response involves surveillance, epidemiology and patient management but also requires the immediate implementation of research projects in the field in order to develop the means for diagnosis, prevention (in the form of vaccines) and treatments to limit morbidity and mortality.

Over the past five years, GloPID-R has established a unique alliance of research funding organizations on a global scale to facilitate response to outbreaks precisely such as this. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, GloPID-R has been working with its members, alongside WHO, to identify specific research funding priorities. Action, resulting from the coordination meetings already held, includes the reorientation of existing research projects and the provision of emergency funding to launch priority research.

In order to ensure an effective response, specific priorities for the funding of this research have been communicated to GloPID-R by WHO. GloPID-R will continue to be mobilised throughout this crisis to provide new solutions and support for patient care and to contribute to limiting the burden of this outbreak.

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