Bill Gates proposes 'a pandemic firefighter squad' to prevent upcoming illnesses

The billionaire sees the need to train professionals with new capabilities in order to have “a global alert system.”

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February 3, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Bill Gates , co-founder of Microsoft , recently commented in a blog post that a next pandemic could be 10 times worse than the one we are currently experiencing . In this context, the billionaire proposes to create “a squad of pandemic firefighters” to take action against such a threat.

“The unfortunate reality is that COVID-19 may not be the last pandemic. We do not know when the next one will arrive, or if it will be a flu, a coronavirus or some new disease that we have never seen before. But what we do know is that we cannot allow ourselves to be caught off guard again. The threat of the next pandemic will always be over our heads, unless the world takes measures to prevent it ”, explains the businessman.

After encouraging governments to continue investing in technology, research and development even when this emergency has passed, and proposing the creation of “mega-diagnostic platforms”, Gates sees the need to train professionals with new skills in order to have “ a global alert system that today we do not have on a large scale ”.

Image: Bill Gates via YouTube .

In this system proposed by the tycoon, “a group of infectious disease first responders” must come into action, which he called “pandemic firefighters squad”.

“Like firefighters, they are fully trained professionals who are ready to respond to potential crises at any time. When they are not actively responding to an outbreak, they keep their skills sharp working on diseases like malaria and polio, ”he says.

Speed matters

Gates’ proposal is first responder teams that are vigilant for any strange pathogens that arise in different world populations, of which around 3,000 would be needed worldwide, according to the businessman’s forecasts.

But to develop this proposal well, it is necessary to “apply simulations that allow experts to practice, analyze and improve the way we respond to disease outbreaks, just as war games allow the military to prepare for the war of real life, ”says Gates.

The billionaire explains that speed is a very important factor in a pandemic. “The faster you act, the faster the exponential growth of the virus will be cut off.” Finally, he added that places that had recent experiences with respiratory outbreaks responded to COVID-19 faster than others because they already knew what to do.

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