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COVID-19: the EU is ready to respond – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Throughout the EU, a lot of persons are nervous about the novel coronavirus and its rapid spread. The EU project Put together, which started in 2014, is responding to COVID-19 by swiftly evaluating Europe’s preparedness and deploying vital medical exploration.


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The novel coronavirus, which 1st erupted at the conclude of 2019 in mainland China and is now spreading in excess of extra than a hundred nations around the world globally, is getting a substantial impression. The virus causes a respiratory disease named COVID-19 which passes swiftly from man or woman to man or woman and may well be extra severe than seasonal influenza. In Europe, a rapid response is crucial to restrict its outcome.

In 2014, the EU-funded Put together project established up a platform for European preparedness versus emerging epidemics. It has been created to make sure that medical exploration is established in motion to review the a lot of uncertainties developed by a new disease, which has the probable to threaten the overall health and safety of European citizens.

‘When confronted with a new infectious disease like COVID-19, health care gurus and community overall health authorities confront a lot of uncertainties. We will need to know how it spreads, who is most at risk, how severe the disease is, and how clients are very best diagnosed and treated,’ says Professor Peter Horby of the College of Oxford and a member of PREPARE’s Outbreak Method Committee (OMC).

Medical exploration and trials are important to obtaining solutions. Nevertheless, this move frequently does not transpire in the course of the 1st stages of an outbreak, which signifies that scientists miss options to strengthen the response to the new disease. Put together bridges this hole by remaining able to rapidly put medical exploration into action in a bid to help you save lives and progress health care understanding.

Be geared up

Put together operates in four diverse modes: mode occurs when there is no distinct threat and exploration into generic preparedness activities can acquire location. Method 1 – ‘prepare’ – is activated when a distinct disease offers a minimal threat to Europe. Method two – ‘mobilisation’ – is deployed when there is a probable threat to Europe. Lastly, Method three – ‘response’ is reserved for an quick threat.

When a distinct disease emerges, these as that triggering COVID-19, the project’s OMC closely displays the condition and coordinates the appropriate European response. The OMC includes four top professors in the subject of emerging infectious ailments.

Through Method , when there is no epidemic, Put together carries out medical exploration, which includes the MERMAIDS-ARI observational review with clients who have indications of acute respiratory infections, and the REMAP-CAP intervention review testing diverse treatment possibilities in clients with severe lung infections.

The project has also evaluated the willingness of European citizens to acquire section in exploration and trials in the celebration of an epidemic or pandemic. This evaluation showed powerful community aid for pandemic-suitable medical exploration initiatives.  

‘Extensive medical and laboratory operate has been carried out to fully grasp the enhancement of severe disease in a huge observational review of clients infected with frequent respiratory viruses, which includes the four known seasonal human coronaviruses. This presents a one of a kind knowledge repository and biobank for comparative immunology and pathogenesis studies for COVID-19,’ says Professor Menno de Jong of the College of Amsterdam and deputy project coordinator.

Be geared up

On 22 January, Put together entered mode 1 in response to the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Through this phase, the project assessed Europe’s readiness by identifying understanding and resource gaps and making ready medical protocols. PREPARE’s companions also created initial protocols for detecting the virus and collaborated with other medical exploration networks.

On six February 2020, Put together raised its response to mode two. Under this mode, it despatched surveys to 270 of its diagnostic laboratories, spanning forty two European nations around the world, to assess their capacities to detect the virus. If the selection of scenarios in Europe rises, a network of hospitals and major-care web pages across the EU are completely ready to carry out even further exploration into COVID-19.

PREPARE’s OMC has now moved to a Method three response supplied that sustained transmission of the disease has been detected amongst the European populace. ‘If the latest epidemic is not contained, and we will need to get ready for a pandemic situation, our networks are completely ready to do the needed studies and trials. We will carry out these trials under Get well, a new project funded by the European Union as a response to the quick threat of the novel coronavirus global outbreak,’ says Professor Herman Goossens of the College of Antwerp (Belgium), project coordinator of Put together and Get well.

Put together is linked to other global EU-funded medical exploration networks which includes ALERRT and PANDORA in sub Saharan Africa, and ZikaPLAN, ZIKAlliance and ZIKAction in Latin The usa.