“In every crisis, the managers have two important tasks: to solve the immediate Problem and to prevent it from being repeated.” With these words, Bill Gates – Microsoft founder, billionaire and Chairman of the largest Private Foundation in the world-his essay in the “New England Journal of Medicine begins.” The reason for the guest post, the spread of the Coronavirus, which has now also reached Europe.
“We now need to save lives and at the same time the way to improve how we respond to outbreaks in General,” writes Gates. “The first point is more urgent, but the second has a decisive, long-term consequences.”
“We should assume that it is bad”
In his editorial, the Microsoft founder explained, it was only a matter of time until a pandemic capturing the world, is similar to that 102 years ago, the Spanish flu. His Foundation, which he directs together with his wife Melinda, and has financial means in the amount of 36.7 billion US dollars, it would have done therefore for years to the task, “to help the world prepare for such a scenario”.
Virologist Marylyn Addo
A vaccine against Corona? Probably not in this outbreak, says expert
Bill Gates is a man who is especially appreciated for his objective analysis – and for his solution-oriented approaches. Even more remarkable is his assessment of the current situation: “We are facing an immediate crisis.” Covid-19 would have the potential to be an agent, how to have it only once in a century, found (“once-in-a-century pathogen”). “I hope that it’s not so bad. But we should assume until we know otherwise.”
Two things make Coronavirus dangerous
Two factors Covid-19 make, in his opinion, to a serious threat: “first of all, it can kill in addition to older people with existing health problems, even healthy adults.” Even a lethality rate of one per cent was much higher than the typical seasonal flu. This is between the most severe influenza pandemics, such as those of 1957 (0.6 percent) and up to today, the dreaded Spanish flu of 1918, taking the lives of two percent of the Patients there.
“Secondly, Covid will be transferred-19-efficient. An infected Person the disease is transmitted, on average, two or three other people – an exponential rate of increase.” Especially, that the disease is transmitted from people who have no symptoms, make the Situation unpredictable. This means that Covid-19 had a lot of curb is more difficult than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Covid-19 have already caused ten times as many cases as SARS in a quarter of the time, attributed to Gates.
Coronavirus could overwhelm poorer countries
Especially for poor countries, the Coronavirus is a serious challenge. Their health systems are overloaded already, “a pathogens such as the Coronavirus can overwhelm you completely,” says Gates.
In order to prevent worse consequences, appeals in the Microsoft-founder of the wealth of Nations: “If we help the African and South Asian countries to prepare themselves now, we can save lives and the global spread of the Virus, slow down.”
Great hopes Gates not only in scientists, which in record time has managed to sequence the Virus and to accelerate research into vaccines. The discovery of medication could also be accelerated by use of libraries of already-safety-tested substances, and new Screening techniques. In order to identify anti-viral drugs, Artificial intelligences promising.
Gates finds clear words
For Gates, however, is clear: to be the next epidemic, be better prepared, must be made fundamental systemic changes. The health systems of countries with low-and middle-income (so-called LMICs) need to be strengthened and the exchange of information between countries should be facilitated. “In addition, we must build a System of safe, effective vaccines and antiviral agents to develop, approve, and within a few months after the discovery of a fast-spreading pathogen billions of cans can make.”
All this calls for diplomatic efforts and any amount of money. “Billions of dollars for Anti-pandemic efforts, a lot of money. But these investments are necessary to solve the Problem.” In the face of economic strain, causing an epidemic of can – Covid-19 has been already in large-scale chains and to share supply markets – “it will be a bargain.” In addition, it is essential that medication be to the highest bidder in an auction, but to those distributed, you need the most.
Gates concludes his guest post with a specific claim: “These are the measures that should be taken by the responsible now. We have no time to lose.”
Source: “the New England Journal of Medicine”
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