The human community is facing an extraordinary challenge with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The Covid-19 disease is progressing rapidly, more than 175 countries and territories impacted, with more than 750,000 confirmed cases by March 30, and 36,000 deaths.
These are difficult times for everyone as individuals, with families and friends being victims of thevirus, or with whom it is no longer possible to be in contact due to lockdown measures. Our thoughts are with you and we wish all of you to win this battle as fast as possible.
As organizations, our first duty is to demonstrate solidarity and empathy with the ones who are suffering the epidemics consequences. Any particular action, on the short or the long term, that may help our members at local and national levels should be taken.
As a federation of professional bodies, WFEO stands beside you and encourages any initiative of solidarity between its members. WFEO Secretariat has maintained the work continuity in spite of the ongoing lockdown in France, and remains at your disposal for any queries. And meanwhile, the Secretariat has received letters from many members such as Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in which they asked us to convey their best wishes to all of you.
From a professional perspective, engineering bodies should show exemplary behaviour and leadership. WFEO encourages its +100 members to, on the short term:
- Promote and support public authorities measures, such as social distanciation, home working, exceptional cautionary measures for employees whose work is vital to the vital infrastructures and activities;
- Raise attention on scientific advice to the populations and governments, show guidance through the confusing mass of contradictory, unverified information;
- Take all possible part in the local and national solidarity initiatives to enhance the difficult work of the healthcare and rescue personnel.
And on the longer term:
- Contribute to todays’ and tomorrows’ efforts of the scientific and technological community to advance the future prevention, response and mitigation capacities in front of such pandemics, that are likely to be coming more often.
- Raise awareness on the role of science and engineering in building more resilient, sustainable societies to live in such risks, whilst leaving no one behind.
WFEO will do everything in its capacity to help fighting the Covid-19. Any further suggestion from you will be appreciated.
Paris, 30 March
Prof. Dr. Gong Ke, WFEO President
COVID-19 – Message from WFEO President Dr Gong Ke