A CALL FOR AN INTERNATIONAL COVID-19 TASKFORCE
I, a concerned citizen of the Global Village, hereby present my humble contribution towards defeating the uninvited guests from “Coronaland” causing deaths and untold suffering to humanity.
My plan will cover an initial nine-month period beginning from September
2020 until the end of May 2021, and will involve taking responsibility in the management of the pandemic away from politicians and placing it into the hands of an international task force of highly regarded healthcare professionals working under the auspices of the WHO.
The WHO will play a key role in the plan I am proposing. Indeed, despite any shortfalls they are accused of – real, exaggerated, imagined etc. – the organisation is the only one I know that has the needed network in place over the globe to handle the matter.
The task force would have the last say in every decision directly connected with the management of the pandemic globally. They would be free from any political intervention, gimmicks, adventurism, showmanship, and what have you.
Under the proposed plan, every country would appoint at least one top healthcare expert – chosen for their competency and not out of political considerations, affiliations, loyalty etc. – to serve on the task force.
Though I do not want to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, I would humbly suggest that in the case of the United States, Dr Fauci should head any team of experts chosen to represent that country on the proposed task force. I listened to an interview he gave on BBC Radio 4 at the beginning of July on how to manage pandemics in general and the current one in particular. After listening to his input, my spontaneous reaction was:
“Whoa! These are the kinds of experts, the types of healthcare gurus – individual, who have been dealing with such type of outbreaks for the greater part of their professional life, individuals to whom fighting such infections can be regarded as their ‘daily bread’ – who should be entrusted with responsibility for the management of this awful pandemic.”
The healthcare experts will have the final say in measures needed to fight the pandemic from the medical/healthcare perspective. If, for example, they decide that based on the prevailing infection figures the whole of the United States or Brazil or Nigeria should be
sent to lock down, that is exactly what should happen.
The international taskforce will manage the healthcare aspect, based on the best evidence, and leave the politicians the responsibility of sorting out the economic repercussions of the decision of the healthcare experts, and also explaining to the populace why they have had to
take decisions, however harsh, based on the recommendations of the healthcare experts.
Such an arrangement would even work to the advantage of the politicians,
since they could rightly shift responsibility to the healthcare experts, who, I dare conjecture, would not be bothered by public pressure since they do not depend on them for their votes – and since they would be working with a clear conscience based on the latest scientific
evidence, they would not have cause to worry.
In this regard, I would strongly recommend the complete adoption of the United Nations Development Programme report published on their website, www.undp.org on 23 June 2020 calling for the introduction of a temporary basic income (TBI) to provide “a minimum guaranteed income above the poverty line, for vulnerable people in 132 developing
countries”, to quote directly from the UNDP report. Such income will allow 2.7 billion people who come under that category to stay at home. I will suggest that the TBI provision is put in place in time to coincide with the start of work of the Global Coronavirus Eradication Taskforce (GCET) on 1 September. The emergency assistance should be paid out for a period of nine months, subject to extension.
My proposal may not gain majority support. Still in my view there is no other way we could better beat this nasty Coronavirus but through a concerted action by an international team of experts and scientists.
What is desirable: a radical, concerted effort, which may cause pain and discomfort in the short term, but eventually helps us to subdue the virus or an inconsistent, vacillating, haphazard, roller-coaster approach, which keeps us, as it were, going around in circles all the time – today we ease lockdowns, flood to the beach, travel on holidays only to be
sent back to lockdown due to a surge in infections.
Without the invention of an effective vaccine to break the cycle, we might have to brace ourselves for that type of situation for the next serval years. We could indeed go around in circles for God knows how long!
*Part of my just published book HUMANITY 1—CORONA 0 What next?
Copyright Robert Peprah-Gyamfi, 2020. All rights reserved