"Prevent future outbreaks": Drosten should research pandemics for WHO

The WHO clarifies that the corona crisis will not be the last pandemic. She is now setting up an advisory board to investigate the origin of epidemics. The German virologist Drosten is also said to be part of the party. There are great hopes for him and his colleagues – also in the political arena.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed the Berlin virologist Christian Drosten as a member of an important new advisory board. The advisory board is to develop guidelines for future studies on the origin of pandemics and epidemics and to oversee investigations, as the WHO reported in Geneva. She proposed 26 members from numerous countries including China, Russia, the United States, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia.

Political considerations did not play a role in the selection, stressed WHO emergency aid coordinator Mike Ryan. The member countries can comment on the list until the end of October. The advisory board is a reaction to the international investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which has long been delayed by China. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The foreign experts proposed by the WHO were only allowed to travel to China more than twelve months later, at the beginning of this year. China does not want to allow a further investigation on site. The US government accuses China of withholding information from the experts. Beijing accuses the US and other countries of misusing the pandemic and the search for the source of political attacks.

The WHO hopes that such studies will be prepared in the future by the advisory board and can then take place without political disputes between governments. “It is in the nature of things that new viruses with the potential to cause epidemics or pandemics emerge,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The Sars-CoV-2 virus will not be the last. “Understanding where new pathogens are coming from is a prerequisite for preventing future outbreaks with epidemic or pandemic potential.”