SINGAPORE: A brand new programme that goals to construct up Singapore’s preparedness and response capabilities for future pandemics was formally launched by the Ministry of Well being (MOH) on Thursday (Nov 3).
The Programme for Analysis in Epidemic Preparedness and Response’s (PREPARE) fast job might be to work intently with MOH to develop a nationwide epidemic analysis and growth plan.
Led by Professor Wang Linfa from Duke-NUS Medical Faculty and Professor David Lye from the Nationwide Centre for Infectious Ailments, the programme is supported by MOH’s Nationwide Medical Analysis Council and administered by NCID.
Talking on the launch of the programme, Well being Minister Ong Ye Kung stated that having a devoted analysis programme will assist to carry collectively multi-disciplinary specialists all through the pandemic analysis ecosystem in a coordinated style.
He added that this can even additional strengthen Singapore’s present capabilities by forming analysis networks in addition to growing obligatory instruments, strategies, and merchandise to reply to future infectious illness outbreak threats.
Internationally, the brand new programme will strengthen analysis partnerships, share info and data, and collaborate in medical trials with numerous establishments within the area, he stated.
Mr Ong stated it would even be Singapore’s connection to worldwide pandemic analysis boards and platforms, such because the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Improvements.
Throughout his speech, Mr Ong highlighted the contributions made by a number of researchers together with Prof Wang, whose workforce managed to isolate the SARS-CoV-2 virus inside days of the primary native confirmed COVID-19 case.
“Our years of funding in biomedical analysis and our accumulation of specialists throughout a various area has paid off throughout the COVID-19 pandemic disaster,” he stated.
“With out the reservoir of capabilities and expertise that was constructed up through the years, we might not have been in a position to reply to the pandemic as successfully as we had.”
“Our expertise in pandemic disaster administration additionally portends trendy coverage making – grounded on scientific proof and knowledge, knowledgeable by analysis findings.”
“These pandemic preparedness and response capabilities ought to be consolidated and constructed upon additional.”
The programme was first introduced in December 2020 throughout the launch of Singapore’s S$25 billion plan to drive analysis, innovation and enterprise for the subsequent 5 years.
Throughout MOH’s committee of provide debate final yr, Senior Minister of State for Well being Janil Puthucheary stated the programme will assist to speed up the event of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines in addition to set up a nationwide infectious illness repository and database for analysis and knowledge evaluation.
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