And now the big question is – who owns Coronavirus?
It is a well known fact now that COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. In early January 2020, the viral genetic sequence data (GSD), was shared by China, with the WHO (World Health Organization).
This helped labs all across the globe, to begin to develop vaccines, medicines and testing kits.
And this takes us to a debate that has been going on since ages:
Are viruses the property of a country?
Are countries are obligated to share scientific data, as well as biological samples, which are vital to the development of life-saving treatments?
Eccleston-Turner, A Lecturer At Britain’s Keele University, Says:
“We need to move away from this model to one where viruses, and the health goods which are developed are seen as public goods, which everyone in the world has equal claim and access to. The lack of a clear legal obligation to share represents a blind spot in international law and governance, impeding pandemic response and scientific progress.”
During the Coronavirus pandemic, the question about who owns data, has come under the spotlight!
Martin Tisne, Managing Director Of Philanthropic Organisation Luminate, says:
“COVID-19 is a public harm; we will fight it by building a public good. The data, models and software used to address the COVID-19 pandemic should be as open as possible.”
Because of Coronavirus, millions of people are infected and lacs are dead, all over the globe. And many more people are dying and being infected, with each ticking minute.
So, the big question – who owns Coronavirus?