The World Health Organization (WHO) inaugurated its intelligence center for Pandemics and Epidemics in Berlin, which seeks to alleviate the problems of multilateral coordination and cooperation in this area that COVID-19 has shown.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, assured in the opening ceremony that the coronavirus offers painful lessons to the world, starting with the need to establish “powerful systems and tools” to collect, analyze and interpret data on pandemics.
It’s about making the world safer, saving lives, because accurate information helps make “good decisions,” argued Tedros about the new body.
Along the same lines, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, stressed that the world must be “better prepared for the next pandemic” and that is why she encouraged to join forces.
“We need to better connect researchers, collect and analyze data, and offer advice to many countries,” said Merkel, who said the center brings “a little hope in sometimes difficult times.”
The chancellor also reiterated her opposition to the suspension of patents on vaccines – which the US government defended – and instead advocated transferring knowledge and granting licenses to increase the production of doses around the world.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn added that the center helps to approach “a safer world against future pandemics” and that it will provide “better data, better analysis and better decisions.”
Spahn also urged in his intervention to China to fully cooperate with the WHO and be transparent in establishing how Sars-CoV2 passed to humans.
The initial idea for this pandemic cooperation and coordination center came about ten months ago, during a conversation between Merkel and Tedros. The promoters have not provided financial data for the initiative.
As the WHO explained in a statement, the center aspires to become a “global platform” that facilitates cross-border and interdisciplinary access to epidemic information, allows analysis and contributes to “predict, prevent, detect, prepare for and respond to health threats all over the world”.