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

Throughout the EU, many folks are concerned about the novel coronavirus and its rapid spread. The EU task Get ready, which commenced in 2014, is responding to COVID-19 by quickly examining Europe’s preparedness and deploying important scientific study.


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The novel coronavirus, which very first erupted at the stop of 2019 in mainland China and is now spreading over much more than 100 countries around the world, is acquiring a sizeable effects. The virus triggers a respiratory sickness known as COVID-19 which passes quickly from particular person to particular person and may possibly be much more critical than seasonal influenza. In Europe, a rapid reaction is crucial to limit its outcome.

In 2014, the EU-funded Get ready task set up a system for European preparedness from emerging epidemics. It has been made to ensure that scientific study is set in movement to study the many uncertainties made by a new sickness, which has the probable to threaten the health and fitness and protection of European citizens.

‘When faced with a new infectious sickness like COVID-19, professional medical specialists and general public health and fitness authorities confront many uncertainties. We have to have to know how it spreads, who is most at risk, how critical the sickness is, and how patients are very best diagnosed and taken care of,’ states Professor Peter Horby of the University of Oxford and a member of PREPARE’s Outbreak Method Committee (OMC).

Clinical study and trials are key to finding solutions. Even so, this stage frequently does not occur in the course of the very first levels of an outbreak, which suggests that researchers miss out on possibilities to improve the reaction to the new sickness. Get ready bridges this gap by staying in a position to promptly put scientific study into motion in a bid to preserve life and advance professional medical knowledge.

Be well prepared

Get ready operates in four distinct modes: mode occurs when there is no specific danger and study into generic preparedness activities can acquire location. Method one – ‘prepare’ – is activated when a specific sickness offers a constrained danger to Europe. Method two – ‘mobilisation’ – is deployed when there is a probable danger to Europe. Ultimately, Method 3 – ‘response’ is reserved for an quick danger.

When a specific sickness emerges, this kind of as that causing COVID-19, the project’s OMC intently monitors the condition and coordinates the appropriate European reaction. The OMC comprises four main professors in the subject of emerging infectious disorders.

Throughout Method , when there is no epidemic, Get ready carries out scientific study, together with the MERMAIDS-ARI observational study with patients who have indicators of acute respiratory bacterial infections, and the REMAP-CAP intervention study screening distinct treatment possibilities in patients with critical lung bacterial infections.

The task has also evaluated the willingness of European citizens to acquire element in study and trials in the party of an epidemic or pandemic. This analysis confirmed powerful general public assist for pandemic-suitable scientific study initiatives.  

‘Extensive scientific and laboratory do the job has been carried out to fully grasp the advancement of critical sickness in a massive observational study of patients infected with typical respiratory viruses, together with the four known seasonal human coronaviruses. This gives a distinctive info repository and biobank for comparative immunology and pathogenesis scientific studies for COVID-19,’ states Professor Menno de Jong of the University of Amsterdam and deputy task coordinator.

Be well prepared

On 22 January, Get ready entered mode one in reaction to the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Throughout this stage, the task assessed Europe’s readiness by pinpointing knowledge and useful resource gaps and getting ready scientific protocols. PREPARE’s partners also developed preliminary protocols for detecting the virus and collaborated with other scientific study networks.

On 6 February 2020, Get ready elevated its reaction to mode two. Below this mode, it despatched surveys to 270 of its diagnostic laboratories, spanning 42 European countries, to assess their capacities to detect the virus. If the range of cases in Europe rises, a community of hospitals and key-care web-sites throughout the EU are ready to carry out further study into COVID-19.

PREPARE’s OMC has now moved to a Method 3 reaction given that sustained transmission of the sickness has been detected among the European populace. ‘If the present-day epidemic is not contained, and we have to have to get ready for a pandemic circumstance, our networks are ready to do the vital scientific studies and trials. We will carry out these trials underneath Get well, a new task funded by the European Union as a reaction to the quick danger of the novel coronavirus world wide outbreak,’ says Professor Herman Goossens of the University of Antwerp (Belgium), task coordinator of Get ready and Get well.

Get ready is connected to other world wide EU-funded scientific study networks together with ALERRT and PANDORA in sub Saharan Africa, and ZikaPLAN, ZIKAlliance and ZIKAction in Latin The usa.