Resource Centre - Media & Press

Duke-NUS Centre for Outbreak Preparedness launched in Singapore to enhance regional capacity for future health threats

Leveraging the research, collaborations and commercialisation successes in contributing to Singapore’s fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic, Duke-NUS Medical School today announced that it is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the Asia Pathogen Genomics Initiative (APGI) to contribute to regional pandemic preparedness by improving genomic surveillance. Duke-NUS also launched a new regional centre to strengthen regional research capacity, cooperation and preparedness for future pandemic and public health threats.

Called the Centre for Outbreak Preparedness (COP), it will collaborate with key public sector partners and research institutions, as well as overseas partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO). COP will leverage Duke-NUS’ strong partnerships around the world, with particular focus on research institutes in South and Southeast Asia to increase the region’s research capacity and capabilities.

Featured Work - Manufacturing

COVID-19 diagnostics: preserving manufacturing capacity for future pandemics

Manufacturing capacity for diagnostics increased at a rapid rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated to have grown by 200% since the onset of the pandemic. Sustaining this expanded capacity over the long term will require coordinated strategies to ensure the progress made in recent years is not lost. 

The authors of this commentary piece, representing the ACT-A Diagnostics Partnership, suggest strategies which could be implemented to preserve manufacturing capacity in the face of future pandemic threats.

Add Resources - Awareness & Advocacy

FIND and partners from the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar call on the G20 and G7 to prioritize diagnostics in its pandemic preparedness and response plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that access to timely, accurate diagnostics is fundamental to effective healthcare. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a unique but time-limited partnership that was set up to respond to the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As world leaders including the G7 and G20 are aligning efforts for future pandemic preparedness and creating a G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness, FIND and ACT-Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar partners call on both G7 and G20 to reaffirm commitments relating to diagnostics as part of the 100 Days Mission put forward during the UK G7 Presidency in 2021.

Add Resources - Scaling Up & Sustainability

WHO webinar on genomic surveillance and SARS-CoV-2 sequencing capacity

In this webinar, WHO and FIND co-host a discussion on sequencing capacity for SARS-CoV-2 and global initiatives to strengthen genomic surveillance.

Co-chaired by Natacha Milhano, WHO Public Health Laboratory Strengthening Unit, and Dr Dhamari Naidoo, WHO South-East Asia, it featured the following speakers and topics:

  • Dr Lisa Carter: Genomic surveillance strategy for pathogens with epidemic or pandemic potential
  • Dr Anita Suresh: Mapping and building genomic surveillance capacity for COVID-19 and beyond
  • Dr Senjuti Saha: Towards building capacity and accelerating genomic surveillance: one step at a time 
  • Dr Sikhulile Moyo: Pathogen genomics of SARS-CoV-2: Lessons from Botswana.

Participants shared learnings from the experiences of Botswana (Moyo) and Bangladesh (Saha) on building next generation sequencing capacity, and the global strategy launched by WHO on 31 March 2022 (Carter).

The presentation on 20 April 2022 was in English, with simultaneous interpretations in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Watch the webinar on YouTube

Add Resources - Scaling Up & Sustainability

Enhancing response to Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant

WHO released this technical brief and guide to prioritize actions for member states in January 2022.

It aims to enhance response to the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant, designated by WHO as a variant of concern on 26 November 2021. Based on the information available, the overall risk related to Omicron was identified as being very high.

The brief is divided into three main sections:

  • An executive summary of key current technical information
  • Current evidence on Omicron
  • Priority actions for member states.

Previous versions of this technical brief are available on this link.

Read the full WHO brief here

Add Resources - Quality Assurance & Policy

Global genomic surveillance strategy for pathogens with pandemic and epidemic potential, 2022–2032

Looking at the decade 2022-2032, WHO presents a global genomic surveillance strategy for pathogens with pandemic and epidemic potential.

The goal is to strengthen and scale surveillance of these pathogens to enable quality, timely and appropriate public health actions across local to global surveillance systems.

WHO’s strategy outlines five objectives with accompanying actions that need implementation plans.

It also highlights considerations to build global genomic surveillance over the next 10 years, as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

The report includes two annexes:

  • Strategy development and stakeholder engagement
  • Key WHO assets for the strategy.

Read report here

Add Resources - Awareness & Advocacy Resource Centre - Publications

COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic

This page contains the documents published in May 2021 when the Panel’s main report, entitled COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic, was released. These include the main report, a summary, an evidence-based narrative report, background documents, a report reflecting voices heard in townhall meetings, and multimedia materials including videos. Also included on this page is a sample of global public reaction following the report’s release.

Download Report