According to WHO, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that setback your health and welcome illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. These include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
This deadly disease can affect people of all age groups and severely in case of senior citizens and children below age of 10. Coronaviruses are said to be zoonotic; the research says that it is zoonotic because it is transmitted between animals and people.
Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more extreme cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
However, the dangerous the disease, we still have to practice our prevention measures such it passes by. They include:
- Regular handwashing,
- covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing,
- thoroughly cooking meat and eggs.
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
World experts and funders set priorities for COVID-19 research
Acute specialists and leading health experts from around the world have been meeting at the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters to assess the current level of knowledge about the new COVID-19 disease.
To identify gaps & work together to accelerate and fund priority research needed to help prevent this outbreak and prepare for any future outbreaks.
The 2-day forum was convened in line with the WHO R&D Blueprint – a strategy for developing drugs and vaccines before epidemics, and accelerating research and development while they are occurring.
The UNO panel discussion
“This outbreak is a test of solidarity — political, financial and scientific. We need to come together to fight a common enemy that does not respect borders, ensure that we have the resources necessary to bring this outbreak to an end and bring our best science to the forefront to find shared answers to shared problems. Research is an integral part of the outbreak response,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“I appreciate the positive response of the research community to join us at short notice and come up with concrete plans and commitment to work together.”
The meeting, hosted in collaboration with GloPID-R (the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness) brought together major research funders and over 300 scientists and researchers from a large variety of disciplines.
They discussed all aspects of the outbreak and ways to control it including:
- The natural history of the virus, its transmission and diagnosis;
- Animal and environmental research on the origin of the virus, including management measures at the human-animal interface;
- Epidemiological studies;
- Clinical characterization and management of disease caused by the virus;
- Infection prevention and control, including best ways to protect health care workers;
- Research and development for candidate therapeutics and vaccines;
- Ethical considerations for research;
- And integration of social sciences into the outbreak response.
“This meeting allowed us to identify the urgent priorities for research. As a group of funders, we will continue to mobilize, coordinate and align our funding to enable the research needed to tackle this crisis and stop the outbreak, in partnership with WHO,” said Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, chair of GloPID-R. “
Equitable access – making sure we share data and reach those most in need, in particular those in lower and middle-income countries, is fundamental to this work which must be guided by ethical considerations at all times.”
On the discussion panel, more than 300 scientists, research heads and experts participating both in person and virtually agreed on a set of global research priorities.
They also outlined mechanisms for continuing scientific interactions and collaborations beyond the meeting which will be coordinated and facilitated by WHO.
They worked with research funders to determine how necessary resources can be mobilized so that critical research can start immediately.
The deliberations will form the basis of a research and innovation roadmap charting all the research needed and this will be used by researchers and funders to accelerate the research response.
Education through online in preventing COVID -19
On the count, today, more than 25 000 people across the globe have accessed real-time knowledge from WHO experts on how to detect, prevent, respond to us. Learn to control the new coronavirus in the 10 days since the launch of an open online training.
The learning team of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme worked with technical experts to instantly develop and publish the online course on 26 January – 4 days before the 2019-nCoV outbreak was declared as a public health emergency of international concern.
Apparently, 3000 new users have registered for the training every day since its launch. Experimentally, demonstrating that the high level of interest, in the health professionals and general public. In addition, more than 200 000 people have viewed the introductory video to the course on YouTube.
The User Engagement back then, …
As mentioned above, these engagement levels emerged as the international community launched a US$675 million preparedness and response plan to fight the further spread of the new coronavirus and protect states with weaker health systems.
Do visit the OpenWHO.org, it is WHO’s open learning platform for emergencies. It was established 3 years ago, for emergencies such as Coronavirus nCoV, wherein the WHO is thriving to reach the people in all corners with real-time access.
The online training – entitled “Emerging respiratory viruses, including nCoV: methods for detection, prevention, response and control” – is currently u in all official Under production in all the UN languages and Portuguese.
“Our job is to work with technical health experts to package knowledge using adult learning principles, quickly so that it is most useful to health workers and our staff,” said Heini Utunen, who manages Open WHO for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE).
“Our online platform – OpenWHO – is already accessed by users from every country on earth, providing more than 60 courses in 21 languages. Delivering training in the local language of responders is really important, especially in an emergency”.
Investing in learning and training to strengthen preparedness and real-time response to health emergencies has been the innate goal of WHE. The programme developed its first-ever learning strategy in 2018 and has a small dedicated Learning and Capacity Development Unit that allows WHE to develop training quickly and get the know-how to those who most need it at the front line.