As the coronavirus continues to expand across the globe, the thousands of deaths recorded in just three months demonstrate that no one was prepared to deal with this pandemic. In Italy, and now in certain hospitals in France , health professionals report being obliged to “sort” and are forced to choose from among patients admitted to intensive care. This is an unprecedented situation that is pushing the best health systems in the world to make difficult decisions because of the massive influx of patients. However, in 2015 and in the aftermath of the Ebola epidemic, Bill Gates already warned of the occurrence of such a pandemic. Information relayed by the OBS , the Point and the 20 minutes.
With 250,000 people infected, the virus which now affects 159 countries, out of 198 in total, continues to grow. In this context, France has since Tuesday, March 17 at noon, decided to place the country in containment. Until March 31 at least, the French are ordered to stay at home and limit their travel unless necessary. And for good reason, in the absence of vaccine and treatment, this measure is essential to limit the spread of the virus.
Last February, the WHO sounded the alarm by announcing that the world “is not ready to face” coronavirus. While Bruce Aylward, the expert who heads the joint WHO / China mission, warned some time ago of the importance of dealing with the situation quickly and on a large scale, Bill Gates, in an intervention dating from 5 years, expressed fears about the explosion of a pandemic for which the world was probably not ready.
Bill Gates: ahead of its time?
It was in 2015 that Bill Gates published an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the wake of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Libera, the American billionaire feared the outbreak of an epidemic for which the world was not prepared. He explains that there are three reasons why the virus that killed more than 10,000 people in West Africa did not spread: the heroic work of health teams, the fact that the virus does not spread in the air and the fact that it has touched very few urban areas, expresses the philanthropist in a “TED talk”. He added that: “next time we may have less luck”.
This conference, which now sounds like a prediction, went almost unnoticed at the time. Yet Bill Gates are warned against the occurrence of a virus capable of propagating in the air, like the Spanish flu in the early 20 th century, had tens of millions of deaths through the world. “Imagine a virus that infects people without showing symptoms. They would feel fit enough to travel or go out shopping (…) Other parameters could also make things worse: for example, a virus capable of spreading in the air like the 1918 flu ”, warns the man business.
In 2017, at an international summit in Switzerland, the visionary man once again drew the attention of leaders to the lack of investment in research to develop technologies capable of quickly finding vaccines in the event of a pandemic. He recalled that preparing for pandemic risk is a problem that requires collaboration between all countries. “Epidemics don’t care about borders. As soon as you look at things from a humanitarian or national point of view, investments must be made, ”urges the former boss of the IT giant.