As novel coronavirus spreads throughout the world and the number of cases and deaths continues to rise, almost no country or community remains untouched by this rapidly evolving threat. Dramatic and urgent actions are underway at all levels in the world’s societies to limit the spread of COVID-19, identify new infections, take care of the sick and prevent death, reduce social and economic disruptions, and meet basic human needs. Looming uncertainties remain and much needs to be done. Seventeen national science and medical academies from across the globe released a joint statement on April 8, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation at this critical time to ensure the following needs are met.

1.     Rapid, accurate, and transparent international communication about the unfolding epidemiology of this novel viral disease, including patterns of transmission, incubation period and lethality, and the efficacy of various methods of intervention.

2.     Real-time sharing of detailed scientific information about the virus, the pathophysiology of the disease it causes and the human immunologic response, the virus’s origins, genetics, and mutations, and coordinated activities to advance knowledge in all of these areas.

3.     Sharing of information about research and development of medical products to deal with the disease, along with collaborative efforts to advance this vital R&D.

4.     Recognition of our mutual reliance, coordination and alignment of the regulatory and manufacturing processes and quality standards required to accelerate availability of reliable personal protective equipment, diagnostic testing devices, and medical treatment capacity.

5.     Collaborative efforts to undertake rapid but evidence-based analysis of emerging concerns or discrete program and policy issues that may emerge as the global pandemic progresses.

6.     Coordinated development of consistent evidence-based guidance, messaging and communications for the public and policymakers in rapidly-changing circumstances.

Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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