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

Mary P. Humphrey

Throughout the EU, many individuals are worried about the novel coronavirus and its fast unfold. The EU project Prepare, which started in 2014, is responding to COVID-19 by quickly evaluating Europe’s preparedness and deploying critical medical investigate. © peterschreiber.media #29566380 resource: stock.adobe.com 2020 The novel coronavirus, which initially erupted at […]

Throughout the EU, many individuals are worried about the novel coronavirus and its fast unfold. The EU project Prepare, which started in 2014, is responding to COVID-19 by quickly evaluating Europe’s preparedness and deploying critical medical investigate.


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© peterschreiber.media #29566380 resource: stock.adobe.com 2020

The novel coronavirus, which initially erupted at the end of 2019 in mainland China and is now spreading over far more than one hundred international locations throughout the world, is obtaining a major effects. The virus results in a respiratory condition termed COVID-19 which passes quickly from person to person and may be far more serious than seasonal influenza. In Europe, a fast reaction is important to restrict its effect.

In 2014, the EU-funded Prepare project set up a system for European preparedness from rising epidemics. It has been designed to assure that medical investigate is set in movement to study the many uncertainties established by a new condition, which has the prospective to threaten the health and safety of European citizens.

‘When faced with a new infectious condition like COVID-19, health-related pros and public health authorities confront many uncertainties. We have to have to know how it spreads, who is most at danger, how serious the condition is, and how sufferers are very best identified and handled,’ states Professor Peter Horby of the University of Oxford and a member of PREPARE’s Outbreak Mode Committee (OMC).

Scientific investigate and trials are crucial to obtaining solutions. However, this stage typically does not materialize all through the initially stages of an outbreak, which indicates that researchers skip possibilities to make improvements to the reaction to the new condition. Prepare bridges this hole by remaining capable to immediately put medical investigate into motion in a bid to conserve lives and progress health-related expertise.

Be ready

Prepare operates in four diverse modes: method takes place when there is no particular danger and investigate into generic preparedness routines can get put. Mode 1 – ‘prepare’ – is activated when a particular condition offers a limited danger to Europe. Mode 2 – ‘mobilisation’ – is deployed when there is a prospective danger to Europe. Eventually, Mode 3 – ‘response’ is reserved for an speedy danger.

When a particular condition emerges, these types of as that creating COVID-19, the project’s OMC closely displays the circumstance and coordinates the acceptable European reaction. The OMC includes four top professors in the field of rising infectious diseases.

Through Mode , when there is no epidemic, Prepare carries out medical investigate, like the MERMAIDS-ARI observational study with sufferers who have indications of acute respiratory infections, and the REMAP-CAP intervention study testing diverse procedure options in sufferers with serious lung infections.

The project has also evaluated the willingness of European citizens to get part in investigate and trials in the celebration of an epidemic or pandemic. This analysis showed strong public assist for pandemic-related medical investigate initiatives.  

‘Extensive medical and laboratory perform has been carried out to realize the advancement of serious condition in a big observational study of sufferers infected with common respiratory viruses, like the four regarded seasonal human coronaviruses. This provides a exceptional info repository and biobank for comparative immunology and pathogenesis scientific tests for COVID-19,’ states Professor Menno de Jong of the University of Amsterdam and deputy project coordinator.

Be ready

On 22 January, Prepare entered method 1 in reaction to the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Through this period, the project assessed Europe’s readiness by determining expertise and source gaps and getting ready medical protocols. PREPARE’s partners also developed preliminary protocols for detecting the virus and collaborated with other medical investigate networks.

On 6 February 2020, Prepare lifted its reaction to method 2. Less than this method, it despatched surveys to 270 of its diagnostic laboratories, spanning forty two European international locations, to assess their capacities to detect the virus. If the amount of cases in Europe rises, a community of hospitals and major-care internet sites across the EU are all set to carry out even further investigate into COVID-19.

PREPARE’s OMC has now moved to a Mode 3 reaction provided that sustained transmission of the condition has been detected amongst the European inhabitants. ‘If the recent epidemic is not contained, and we have to have to prepare for a pandemic circumstance, our networks are all set to do the needed scientific tests and trials. We will carry out these trials beneath Get well, a new project funded by the European Union as a reaction to the speedy danger of the novel coronavirus worldwide outbreak,’ says Professor Herman Goossens of the University of Antwerp (Belgium), project coordinator of Prepare and Get well.

Prepare is connected to other worldwide EU-funded medical investigate networks like ALERRT and PANDORA in sub Saharan Africa, and ZikaPLAN, ZIKAlliance and ZIKAction in Latin America.

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