Over the past two years the Igarape Institute has been monitoring pandemics and vaccination response around the world. In 2018, the Institute predicted a major pandemic outbreak. Since January 2019, the Institute has been working in partnership with the World Health Organization’s communicable disease department to model how infectious diseases spread and how vaccine supply chains operate. In November 2019, the Institute supported the Global Parliament of Mayor’s Durban Declaration that advocated for more pandemic preparedness, exactly one month before the first COVID-19 case was detected in Wuhan, China.
The production and dissemination of data-driven and evidence-based information on pandemics is essential to fighting viruses, and the ignorance that allows them to spread. In 2020, the Institute’s co-founder and research director, Dr. Robert Muggah, delivered a talk at a COVID-19 summit held by Singularity University and live-streamed to over 23,000 people. The talk was featured by GQ magazine. Robert also prepared a short 2 minute video for Project Syndicate on the political and economic fall-out of COVID-19 and reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers. The Institute also released a new COVID-19 EarthTime data visualization, which is also available in mobile format.
The Igarape Institute has published several articles on COVID-19 over the past month, including with the World Economic Forum on what cities and mayors can and are doing to save lives. The Institute also spoke with media, including USA Today, on what countries are doing to prevent the spread of COVID and the rapid increase of cases in the US, in particular. The Institute has published on past pandemics, including in 2018 with DEVEX. Likewise, the Institute co-authored a piece in Global Policy Journal about the need to create a network of mayors to support responses and prevent future pandemics. In March 2020, Bloomberg committed to funding a mayoral network for pandemic preparedness drawing heavily on the recommendations of the article.
Starting in mid-March, the Igarape Institute has mandated that all researchers and administrative staff are required to work from home. The Igarape Institute remains committed to keeping operations running uninterrupted, not least to supply partners with critical information on COVID-19 trends and threats. All employees can be reached using existing cell phone, telephone and e-mail and telephone services. In line with recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Institute is practicing both social distance and self isolation in the short-term to prevent overloading the health system. The responsibility for flattening the curve and supporting the most vulnerable is one we all take very seriously.
Please stay home if you can, support the elderly and inform, and practice responsible hygiene.
Igarape Institute team