The countries also agreed to make available timely data for addressing emerging infectious disease outbreaks. (Photo Credit: IANS File)
India is part of a US-led global initiative to share information on integrating science into coronavirus response, according to a White House statement. Besides the US and India, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea are part of the initiative. The second conference call by the science ministers and chief advisors of these countries was held on Wednesday and it was convened by the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr Kelvin Droegemeier.
“Following the first (conference) call last week, we’ll continue ongoing frequent scientific diplomacy, the White House said in the statement. During the second conference call, participants supported efforts to make available COVID-19 (coronavirus diseases) relevant peer-reviewed publications, data, and related research in PubMed Central and other publicly accessible repositories immediately.
The countries under the initiative also agreed to make available timely data and publications for addressing emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Noting that artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to organise and synthesise certain data and information to expedite this process, the participants asserted that to ensure accessibility, ideally, data should be disseminated in machine and human readable formats, with broad rights for re-use and secondary analyses.
According to the White House, AI tools and analyses should also be made publicly available in a timely manner, the participants said. Science leaders discussed opportunities to promote and strengthen common data repositories, such as the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), the White House said. Participants discussed responses to their stages of disease management and updated the group on cases from their countries.
“Each of us has an important role and obligation to play in addressing the global outbreak of COVID-19,” Droegemeier, who is also a member of President Donald Trump’s Task Force on Coronavirus, said.
He said that “as chief science advisors, we have a firm understanding as to how critical it is for public health to bring the best available science and data to the forefront to assist in the development of solutions.
This series of international collaboration efforts on science has led to actions on data sharing, access to COVID-19-related data and publications, and global unification for the health and safety, Droegemeier said.
From this international dialogue, the United States can build on the whole-of-government approach being led by Vice President Mike Pence and the great work of the Trump administration, he said.