Proposed Members WHO Scientific Advisory Group on the Origin of New Pathogens (SAGO) were selected for their expertise in areas such as epidemiology, animal health, clinical medicine, virology, and genomics.
This was announced by the head of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during his next briefing from Geneva.
“SAGO will advise WHO on the development of a global framework for identifying and conducting research into the origins of new and re-emerging pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential, including SARS-CoV-2,” he said.
“The emergence of new viruses capable of causing epidemics and pandemics is a natural fact, and although SARS-CoV-2 is the last of these viruses, it will not be the last.”
More ‘Disease X’
V 26 scientists came from several countries and were selected from more than 700 applications based on the results of a global competition.
There will be a two-week public consultation period for WHO to receive feedback on proposed SAGO members.
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Leader for COVID-19, said the world should be better prepared for any future “disease X”.
When asked by a reporter, she expected SAGO to recommend further research in China and possibly elsewhere to understand the origin of the new coronavirus…
While SAGO will advise WHO, any future missions will be organized by the UN agency and the country concerned.
“I want to make it clear that SAGO is not the next team on the mission. Later it was distorted, ”she said.