With numbers of Covid-19 infections soaring in many parts of the world, a new Doctor to Doctor meeting was convened yesterday by the Order of Malta together with the London based think tank Forward Thinking. The recrudescence of the virus over the past few weeks in the Northern hemisphere – after a period where infection rates had evenly decreased bringing the number of patients to a manageable level – has led many scientists and health experts to address the root causes of the sharp rise, or as many put it, the second wave.
Health experts and representatives of the Order of Malta from Germany, Italy, France, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon all addressed the health situation in their respective country illustrating the main policies adopted to contain the spread of the infections.
The development of successful treatments, the lower death toll we are witnessing in this phase, and the possible mutation of the virus were all topics discussed during the meeting. Although the virus seems to be losing its virulence, its diffusion can cause an unsustainable pressure on the public health systems, the speaker all agreed, pointing out to the risk of further deterioration with the winter season approaching.
The need to implement effective communication strategies on the promotion of preventative behaviors and to inform on scientifically grounded advancements in the search for an equitably distributed vaccine were also issues addressed during the online meeting.
The Doctor to Doctor platform was launched by the government of the Order of Malta in the wake of the first wave of Covid-19. The aim is to connect experts in the field of infectious diseases, epidemiology, emergency medicine, policymakers from different countries to promote a better understanding of the virus, and the treatment of patients.
Online meetings have been convened also with representatives from Palestine, Yemen, and South Africa.