The Jakarta Post
Several academies of science and medicine around the world issued a joint statement on Wednesday calling for greater international cooperation and noting the pivotal role scientists play in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement was signed by 15 members of the InterAcademy Partnership of Academies of Sciences and Medicine (IAP), including the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the French Academy of Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Indian National Science Academy and the Global Young Academy, an international society of young scientists based in Germany.
The other signatories are Italy’s Accademia dei Lincei, the Science Council of Japan, the Nigerian Academy of Science, the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, the United States National Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Medicine.
In the statement, the group emphasized the urgency of international cooperation in several areas.
“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” was required, the statement read.
It also called for “real-time sharing of detailed scientific information about the virus, the pathophysiology of the disease it causes and the human immunologic response, its origins, genetics, and mutations, and coordinated activities to advance knowledge in all of these areas”, as well as information sharing on the research and development of medical products, along with “collaborative research efforts to advance this vital R&D”.
“In recognition of our mutual reliance, coordination and alignment of regulatory and manufacturing processes and quality standards [are] required to accelerate availability of reliable personal protective equipment, diagnostic testing devices, and medical treatment capacity,” it states.
The group said that international communities also required “collaborative efforts to undertake rapid but evidence-based analysis of emerging concerns […] that may emerge as the global pandemic progresses.”
“International cooperation and information sharing in all of these dimensions will be particularly critical in countries and regions where the public health and healthcare infrastructure is not adequate.”
In order to push the government to carry out the recommendations, the Indonesian Academy of Sciences sent a letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration. The letter was sent through Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung on Wednesday.
In the letter, academy chairman Satryo Soemantri Brodjonegoro reiterated the message from the academies, calling on the government to consider the role of civil society and private organizations, as well as to give greater support to the World Health Organization in addressing challenges posed by the pandemic.
“The Cabinet Secretariat has received the letter and Pak Pramono said it will be followed up on,” Satryo told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.