The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), an independent monitoring and accountability body co-convened by the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure preparedness for global health crises, today issued a statement recommending urgent global action in response to the outbreak of 2019-novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Following the publication of the statement, WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
While the GPMB statement commends the speed of response by WHO, China, and other affected countries, the Board is “concerned that many countries remain unprepared and urges leaders in all countries to take immediate action to ensure that they have the necessary capacities in place.” Recommended actions include rapid information sharing; preparedness capacity building; accelerated research and development; national and regional collaboration with WHO; financial support to lower resourced countries; and ensuring public awareness and trust.
National Academy of Medicine president Victor J. Dzau, MD, a member of the GPMB, developed the statement alongside other Board members in an emergency convening on January 27. “Containment of pandemics like Ebola and SARS has taught us a lot about the essential elements for effective national and international response to infectious disease outbreaks, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to implementation,” Dzau said. “Failure to act quickly and collaboratively risks tremendous human and economic cost.”
The GPMB’s full statement is available online.
Related resource: The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises
Media inquiries: Dana Korsen