Webinar: Challenges Facing the COVID-19 Pandemic

On Thursday April 2nd, a webinar organized by the Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS), chaired by Prof. Dani Cohen, Tel Aviv University School of Public Health, in collaboration with the University of San Francisco and other international bodies (Ending Pandemics, CORDS) was conducted to discuss the challenges facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

CORDS Webinar: Challenges Facing the COVID-19 Pandemic, Apr 2, 2020

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The Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS), is a trilateral, non-official organization that was formed in 2002 by leading public health officials and academics from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. MECIDS is a platform and source of expertise for cross-border collaboration and response to the current threats of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Introduction

MECIDS is a part of Connecting Organisations for Regional Disease Surveillance (CORDS), a program of Ending Pandemics operating in Africa, Asia, and Europe. MECIDS was an instrumental platform of collaboration for addressing regional emerging infectious diseases such as H5N1 avian flu (2005), H1N1 pandemic influenza (2009), transmission of foodborne diseases (e.g. salmonellosis), transmission of vector-borne diseases (eg. West Nile Fever and leishmaniasis), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome–Corona Virus (MERS-CoV). Webinar speakers included experts representing MECIDS members and discussants from the World Health Organization, Tel Aviv University, the Southeast European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases and University of Haifa.

 

Webinar Overview

Dr. Marlo Libel (Ending Pandemics) launched the webinar. This was followed by a presentation given by Prof. Dani Cohen, Chair of MECIDS and Acting Head of the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University. Prof. Cohen provided an overview on the characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic and presented the experience of Israel in facing the current pandemic.

Dr. Sami Sheikh Ali, Head Data Management Department, the Communicable Diseases Directorate, Ministry of Health, Jordan, presented the experience of Jordan in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Ziad Abdeen from Al-Quds University presented the Palestinian perspective relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Yaniv Lustig, Head of the National Center for Zoonotic Viruses and the Deputy Director of the Laboratory of Environmental Virology at the Central Virology Laboratory of the Israeli Ministry of Health highlighted the importance of the rapid development of diagnostic tests for the new coronavirus and provided an overview of laboratory preparedness.

Dr. Bruria Adini from the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University presented the non-medical challenges associated with facing and containment of the COVID-19 threat.

An international panel including Dr. Dorit Nitzan, Coordinator of Health Emergencies at World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, Dr. Silvia Bino, Head of the Southeast European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases (SECID) and Prof. Manfred Green from the University of Haifa, offered their perspectives on facing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Questions and comments submitted by the webinar audience were addressed by lecturers and panelists live, and a subsequently distributed to all participants via email.

Closing and summative remarks were given by Prof. Dani Cohen.

 

Agenda

Topic

Speaker

Introduction

 

Dr. Marlo Libel

Ending Pandemics, San Francisco, USA

MECIDS as a platform to address emerging infectious diseases and the Israeli experience facing COVID-19 pandemic

 

Prof. Daniel Cohen

Chair of MECIDS and Acting Head of School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

The Jordanian experience facing COVID-19 pandemic

 

Dr. Sami Sheikh Ali

The Communicable Diseases Directorate, Ministry of Health, Jordan

The Palestinian experience facing COVID-19 pandemic

 

Prof. Ziad Abdeen

Al Quds University, East Jerusalem

Rapid response in the diagnostics/detection- Laboratory preparedness

 

Dr. Yaniv Lustig

The Central Virology Laboratory, Ministry of Health and School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

The non-medical burden of COVID-19 pandemic

 

Dr. Bruria Adini

Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Medicine, School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Panel Discussion

 

Dr. Dorit Nitzan

Coordinator of Health Emergencies at World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe

Dr. Silvia Bino

Southeast European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases South (SECID)

Prof. Manfred Green

School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Israel

Questions and Answers

 

Closing Remarks

 

Prof. Daniel Cohen

Chair of MECIDS and Acting Head of School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

 

Acronyms

COVID-19                   Coronavirus disease 2019

MERS-CoV                 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus

SARS-CoV                  Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2               The virus responsible for COVID-19

 

Organizing Committee

Prof. Daniel Cohen, MECIDS and School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Prof. Khitam Muhsen, MECIDS and School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Dr. Sami Sheikh Ali, MECIDS and Communicable Diseases Directorate, Ministry of Health, Jordan

Prof. Ziad Abdeen, MECIDS and Al-Quds University, East Jerusalem

Dr. Ruti Yishai MECIDS and Ministry of Health, Israel

Sari Husseini, MECIDS Executive Officer

Dr. Marlo Libel, Ending Pandemics, San Francisco, USA

Anna Tombs, CORDS, the UK

Prof. Laura Chyu, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Dr. Sayed Zarif Akbari, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Himanshi Kalpesh Mehta, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Carol Wong, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Carolina Echeverria, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Saritte Perlman, School of Public Health, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Jack Barokas, Tel Aviv University, Israel

 

View

The webinar can be viewed online at the following link.

The full learning guide can be found here

אוניברסיטת תל-אביב, ת.ד. 39040, תל-אביב 6997801
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