World Health Organisation (WHO), an agency of the United Nations (UN), will organise an international research and innovation meet to boost the efforts against recent Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

The UN agency intends to organise the international forum on Coronavirus from 11 to 12 February, in Geneva, Switzerland, in collaboration with the ‘global research collaboration for infectious disease preparedness (GloPID-R), an international network of research funding organisations.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Harnessing the power of science is critical for bringing this outbreak under control. There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need developed as quickly as possible. WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing the scientific community together to identify research priorities and accelerate progress.”

WHO international forum will create a global research agenda for the new Coronavirus

The forum is aimed at bringing together scientists, public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders for the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for 2019-nCoV.

The meeting would allow the participants to discuss several areas of research, including identifying the source of the virus along with the sharing of biological samples and genetic sequences.

In addition, the forum is expected to produce a global research agenda for the new Coronavirus and set priorities and frameworks to guide through the projects.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said: “Understanding the disease, its reservoirs, transmission and clinical severity and then developing effective counter-measures is critical for the control of the outbreak, to reduce deaths and minimise the economic impact.”

WHO said that setting clear international research priorities for the Coronavirus infection would lead to effective investments, quality research and collaborations among researchers.

In addition, the forum is expected to accelerate the development and evaluation of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines, to minimise the virus infection.

WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Michael Ryan said: “The WHO R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness platform that drives coordinated development of drugs and vaccines before epidemics, and allows the rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics. It speeds up the availability of the diagnostics, vaccines and treatments and technologies that ultimately save lives.”