Bill Gates’ message about COVID-19: There are two things that must be done for the present and the future

Tram Ho

The New England Journal of Medicine on February 28 published a comment by billionaire Bill Gates on the issue of COVID-19. In his article, he outlined issues and methods of addressing the challenges the world faces when dealing with pandemics. Here’s an article by billionaire Bill Gates:

In any crisis, leaders must have two equally important responsibilities: solve the immediate problem and must prevent it from reappearing. Translation COVID-19 is the case we are talking about. We need to save the lives of those infected and improve the way we deal with diseases in general. The first one needs to be dealt with more urgently and urgently, but the second has an important and lasting impact.

Tâm thư của tỷ phú Bill Gates về COVID-19: Có hai việc bắt buộc phải làm vì hiện tại và tương lai - Ảnh 1.

The long-term challenge of strengthening pandemic response is not a new problem. Global health experts have recognized for many years that an pandemic with the same spread and severity as the 1918 pandemic will occur, and the problem is not “if it happens.” or not “but when. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have contributed resources over the past few years to help the world prepare for such a scenario.

Now we are facing the crisis ahead. Since last week, COVID-19 has begun to show the appearance of a “one hundred year only” pathogen that we are concerned about. I hope COVID-19 is not that bad, but we need to be on the alert until we know it better.

There are two reasons why COVID-19 becomes a threat.

First , it can cause healthy adults to die, not to mention older people who have had other health problems. Data so far show that corona virus has a mortality rate of about 1%; this rate makes it more dangerous than the regular seasonal flu, between the 1957 flu pandemic (0.6% mortality rate) and the 1918 influenza pandemic (2% mortality).

Secondly , COVID-19 is quite “contagious”. The average infected person spreads 2 to 3 others – the rate of infection is very fast. There is strong evidence that the virus can be transmitted from people who are mildly ill or even not yet sick.

That means that COVID-19 is harder to control than MERS and SARS – these diseases spread less and only spread when the patient had symptoms. In fact, COVID-19 was 10 times more infectious than SARS in just a quarter of the time.

Local, state, national governments and public health facilities may implement preventive measures in the next few weeks to curb the spread of the virus. For example, besides helping their citizens, some governments can assist low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in preparing to cope with diseases. Health systems in many LMIC countries are very thin, and diseases like COVID-19 can quickly overwhelm them.

By helping countries in Africa and East Asia get ready to prevent pandemics, we can save many people and slow the global spread of viruses. (A large portion of the money – possibly up to $ 100 million – that Melinda and I pledged to promote the world’s reaction to COVID-19 is being focused on LMIC countries.)

The world also needs to strengthen treatment and vaccine preparation for COVID-19. Scientists have already sequenced the virus’s genes and are developing promising vaccines over the next few days. The Vaccine Initiative Association has prepared up to 8 vaccine samples for testing. If these vaccines prove safe and effective in animals, they could be tested on a large scale in June.

Drug research can be accelerated by taking data from safely tested types and by applying new technology, including machine learning, to discover anti-viral drugs. can be tested on a large scale within a few weeks.

All of the above steps will help solve the current problem. But we also need to make major system changes in order to respond more effectively and promptly when the next pandemic breaks out.

Tâm thư của tỷ phú Bill Gates về COVID-19: Có hai việc bắt buộc phải làm vì hiện tại và tương lai - Ảnh 3.

Photo: AP

Helping LMIC countries strengthen their health systems is essential. Just by building one more infirmary, we have also contributed to the creation of a health facility system to combat disease. Trained health workers not only vaccinate people; they can also control disease movements, becoming part of the early warning system to alert the world to the risk of disease outbreaks.

We also need to invest in disease monitoring, including a data system that can be accessed by relevant organizations and laws that require countries to share disease information. Governments must have access to qualified personnel, from local leaders to world experts, who are ready to deal with a pandemic immediately. In addition, in emergencies, countries need to be supplied or given priority to necessary items.

In addition, we need to build a system that can develop safe, effective vaccines and antiviral drugs, through them, and deliver billions of doses of vaccines to people around the world within a few months of delivery. disease appears. This is a difficult challenge, requiring to overcome challenges of money, technology, foreign affairs and cooperation between the private sector and the state. But all these challenges can be overcome.

One of the main technological challenges for vaccines is to improve the form of protein production, which is now too slow to respond to pandemics. We need to develop safety platforms so that conventional assessments can take place quickly, helping manufacturers to manufacture low-cost vaccines on a large scale.

For antiviral drugs, we need an organized system to screen out existing treatments quickly and standardized.

Another technical challenge involves building structures based on nucleic acids. These structures can be produced within hours of the virus being formed; Now we need to find ways to produce them on a large scale.

In addition to technical solutions, we need external efforts to strengthen cooperation and data sharing internationally. Developing vaccines and antiviral drugs requires large-scale medical testing and cooperation agreements across national borders.

We need to take advantage of international forums to reach consensus on research priorities, test protocols, and ultimately facilitate the rapid adoption of potential vaccines and antiviral series.

These include the WHO research and development organization, the testing network of the International Association for Acute Respiratory Diseases and International Infectious Diseases, and the International Organization for Research Cooperation on Room Preparation. Epidemic. The objective of this activity will be to obtain test results and approve use within less than 3 months without harming the patient’s health.

Finally, investment matters. The money invested for these efforts needs to be multiplied many times. The corona virus vaccine requires billions of dollars more to complete phase 3 testing and to reach the usual standards. However, more investment is still needed to improve disease monitoring and response.

Government investment is needed because products during an epidemic are very high risk investments; Public investment will reduce the risk for pharmaceutical companies and help them thrive.

In addition, the government and philanthropists need to invest in production facilities that can manufacture the vaccine within weeks. These facilities can create vaccines in the normal period and quickly increase production during the epidemic period. Finally, the government must invest in buying and distributing vaccines to those in need.

Billions of dollars on disease prevention are a lot of money. But that is the size of investment needed to solve the problem. Based on the economic damage the pandemic can cause – we have seen COVID-19 can break down supply chains and stock markets, not to mention the deaths of many – the first Private is still much cheaper.

Finally, governments and manufacturing need to agree that during an epidemic, vaccines and antiviral drugs cannot simply be sold to the highest bidders. They must be ready and affordable for those in the epidemic center and those most in need of the vaccine. Such distribution is not only the right thing to do, but also the right strategy to prevent the spread of disease and prevent future outbreaks.

Those are the actions that world leaders need to take immediately. There was no time to waste.

Tâm thư của tỷ phú Bill Gates về COVID-19: Có hai việc bắt buộc phải làm vì hiện tại và tương lai - Ảnh 5.
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Source : Genk