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

Across the EU, quite a few persons are fearful about the novel coronavirus and its speedy unfold. The EU venture Put together, which started in 2014, is responding to COVID-19 by fast assessing Europe’s preparedness and deploying important scientific investigation.


© #29566380 resource: 2020

The novel coronavirus, which to start with erupted at the conclusion of 2019 in mainland China and is now spreading about much more than a hundred international locations all over the world, is obtaining a important influence. The virus brings about a respiratory ailment referred to as COVID-19 which passes fast from human being to human being and may possibly be much more extreme than seasonal influenza. In Europe, a speedy reaction is vital to limit its outcome.

In 2014, the EU-funded Put together venture established up a platform for European preparedness against rising epidemics. It has been intended to ensure that scientific investigation is established in movement to examine the quite a few uncertainties made by a new ailment, which has the opportunity to threaten the health and safety of European citizens.

‘When faced with a new infectious ailment like COVID-19, health-related specialists and general public health authorities confront quite a few uncertainties. We want to know how it spreads, who is most at danger, how extreme the ailment is, and how clients are greatest identified and handled,’ says Professor Peter Horby of the College of Oxford and a member of PREPARE’s Outbreak Mode Committee (OMC).

Medical investigation and trials are essential to finding solutions. Even so, this move often does not happen throughout the to start with phases of an outbreak, which usually means that researchers pass up opportunities to increase the reaction to the new ailment. Put together bridges this gap by becoming equipped to swiftly set scientific investigation into motion in a bid to help save lives and advance health-related know-how.

Be well prepared

Put together operates in four diverse modes: mode takes place when there is no specific danger and investigation into generic preparedness functions can just take place. Mode 1 – ‘prepare’ – is activated when a specific ailment offers a constrained danger to Europe. Mode 2 – ‘mobilisation’ – is deployed when there is a opportunity danger to Europe. Lastly, Mode 3 – ‘response’ is reserved for an quick danger.

When a specific ailment emerges, these as that triggering COVID-19, the project’s OMC carefully displays the circumstance and coordinates the ideal European reaction. The OMC comprises four leading professors in the field of rising infectious disorders.

All through Mode , when there is no epidemic, Put together carries out scientific investigation, including the MERMAIDS-ARI observational examine with clients who have signs of acute respiratory infections, and the REMAP-CAP intervention examine screening diverse treatment alternatives in clients with extreme lung infections.

The venture has also evaluated the willingness of European citizens to just take component in investigation and trials in the function of an epidemic or pandemic. This evaluation showed strong general public assist for pandemic-applicable scientific investigation initiatives.  

‘Extensive scientific and laboratory do the job has been carried out to comprehend the development of extreme ailment in a huge observational examine of clients infected with frequent respiratory viruses, including the four regarded seasonal human coronaviruses. This provides a distinctive facts repository and biobank for comparative immunology and pathogenesis studies for COVID-19,’ says Professor Menno de Jong of the College of Amsterdam and deputy venture coordinator.

Be well prepared

On 22 January, Put together entered mode 1 in reaction to the novel Coronavirus outbreak. All through this stage, the venture assessed Europe’s readiness by figuring out know-how and source gaps and planning scientific protocols. PREPARE’s companions also created preliminary protocols for detecting the virus and collaborated with other scientific investigation networks.

On 6 February 2020, Put together lifted its reaction to mode 2. Less than this mode, it sent surveys to 270 of its diagnostic laboratories, spanning 42 European international locations, to evaluate their capacities to detect the virus. If the number of situations in Europe rises, a network of hospitals and main-treatment internet sites throughout the EU are ready to carry out additional investigation into COVID-19.

PREPARE’s OMC has now moved to a Mode 3 reaction supplied that sustained transmission of the ailment has been detected among the European populace. ‘If the present-day epidemic is not contained, and we want to prepare for a pandemic scenario, our networks are ready to do the important studies and trials. We will carry out these trials under Recuperate, a new venture funded by the European Union as a reaction to the quick danger of the novel coronavirus global outbreak,’ says Professor Herman Goossens of the College of Antwerp (Belgium), venture coordinator of Put together and Recuperate.

Put together is connected to other global EU-funded scientific investigation networks including ALERRT and PANDORA in sub Saharan Africa, and ZikaPLAN, ZIKAlliance and ZIKAction in Latin America.