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Coronavirus COVID-19

Spain exchanges information on COVID-19 with 14 countries around the world

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Those participating in the conference call - which included those responsible for science and innovation in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Portugal, Singapore and the United Kingdom - shared the experiences of their respective countries to combat the pandemic and stressed the importance of international cooperation.

They also expressed their gratitude to the scientific publishing community for its rapid response to the international call for free access to publications on COVID-19, and the facts and figures behind it, to ensure that all important information on the pandemic can be quickly shared among researchers and thus speed up global efforts to contain the new coronavirus. To date, close to 40 publishing houses have responded to this call, thus allowing public access to their information.

The Government of Spain signed the joint declaration by these 14 countries to boost access to all information published on the coronavirus pandemic, a key effort to help contain SARS-COV-2 and reduce its impact. The European Union, for its part, has already ruled that all publications must be open, making an exception to the rules on commercial publishing rights.

During the conference call, the participants agreed on the need to significantly increase the global capacity to produce protective equipment, respirators and diagnostic material, given their sparsity across all markets, both within Europe and beyond. A significant part of the scientific effort is being employed to speed up domestic developments equivalent to those in other countries, which thus removes resources from real progress.

Upon a suggestion from Australia, Spain backed studying the possibility of also making an exception to international patent rules, with the aim of speeding up licence processes and transferring technology in order to manufacture certain products around the world more quickly.

All the participants also shared their concern over seeing the measures adopted in each country that affect people, as well as the results being obtained, and stressed the social effects of the disease and the measures being adopted.

Non official translation