In an interview given to the CNNthe founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has assured that the response group that he proposes to face a hypothetical and next pandemic would cost about a billion dollars a year to the World Health Organization (WHO), a tiny amount if we compare it with the figures destined for military budgets or climate change”, Gates pointed out.
The plan that the founder of Microsoft is talking about is the Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM for its acronym in English), a group that would be dependent on the WHO and “would be made up of people from all over the world with a wide range of knowledge: epidemiology, genetics, data systems, diplomacy, rapid response, logistics, computer modeling, communications and more”, as explained on its Gates Notes website.
This group would monitor the outbreaks of diseases that appear throughout the world, consulting with the public health services of the countries and evaluating the risks of each one of them.
For Gates the budget for GERM would not be very high because The economic damage caused by COVID-19 globally amounts to 14 trillion dollars. “It is one of the health policies cheaper”, says the founder of Microsoft. Gates has written a book, not yet published, in which he proposes what for him are the guidelines to follow to avoid a pandemic.
For example, he advises giving scientists better tools to research and develop new ways to fight viruses, improve disease tracking, strengthen health systems and contain outbreaks in the first 100 days before they have a chance to follow. spreading, among other measures.
Southeast Asia, a key area for future pandemics
In addition, he believes it is important to track the outbreaks, especially in Asia and Africa, places where “the proximity between animals and humans is getting closer”. “Africa is a risk and Asia is a risk.”
A study by Georgetown University (Washington DC) agrees with him, which ensures that global warming will force wild animals to change their habitats and move to regions with large human populations. The study emphasizes bats, which will fly long distances to seek new climates and will be able to spread viruses to more areas, especially in Southeast Asia. In fact, the results of the study show that Southeast Asia will be the area with a greater relationship between population and risk of viral transmission.
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