Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, exchanges and consultations between France and Singapore have served to enlighten the two countries’ authorities and guide their strategies and decision-making.
The creation by the Embassy of France in Singapore of the Scientific Committe on the COVID-19 pandemics that make up members of the French medical and research fraternity based in Singapore has proven to be one such instrumental tool. Since 20 March 2020, the Committee has met on a regular basis to monitor the pandemic and has shared up-to-date with the French community in the City-State.
France and Singapore have decided to create a Bilateral Working Group on Infectious Diseases as an extension of the above-mentioned Scientific Committee. Its members consist of a dozen French and Singaporean scientists. The objective is to be a responsive and operational group whose role will be to:
- Determine areas of mutual interest in science and innovation;
- Identify researchers to develop mutual collaborations; and
- Channel public and private funding appropriately to implement these collaborations.
The first meeting of this working group was held on 24 July 2020 with representatives from:
- The National Centre for Infectious Disease,
- The National Public Health Laboratory,
- The Singapore Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network,
- Institut Pasteur
Participants presented the measures taken by each country to manage the health crisis. Singapore also reiterated the country’s interest in establishing cooperation with France. Exchanges will continue on the areas of common interest such as the setting up of clinical trials for vaccine research, diagnostic methods and tools as well as therapeutic and diagnostic antibody research.
Finally, in addition to COVID-19, collaborations on infectious diseases (dengue and tropical viruses) will be similarly planned.