The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company, will host a Global Science Summit on COVID-19 on July 23. Described as a virtual scientific summit focused on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the "new normal," the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT. The summit will be open to the public and will share the latest scientific knowledge and evidence-based best practices related to prevention, detection, treatment and mitigation of COVID-19.
Designing the Summit
Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, is a member of the WTTC executive committee and its vice chair for North America. Carnival Corporation designed and is producing the summit in coordination with WTTC leadership.
“Throughout the pause in our guest operations, we have been consulting and assembling the best minds in medical science, public health and infectious disease control," said Donald in the announcement.
He added that the cruise company was grateful to bring together a select group of science and medical experts so the public can learn about relevant insight into COVID-19. "Hopefully, this Summit will be an efficient way for attendees to become more informed about COVID-19 in the space of just a few hours," said Donald.
Sharing the latest science and medical evidence/information will be renowned medical, epidemiology and public health experts. The summit will also include global tourism leaders, WTTC members, government agencies, destination partners, trade and private businesses.
Sharing Key Information
The goal is sharing evidence/information that can help create solutions for mitigating and living with COVID-19. Gloria Guevara, WTTC's president and CEO, said, “I was excited when Arnold, on behalf of Carnival Corporation, approached me with this idea ... The science of this virus is rapidly evolving and these real-time insights will be invaluable in helping us determine evidence-based protection and mitigation measures to combat COVID-19. They will also help drive global alignment and collaboration on the frontiers of science and policy, which is critical to the survival of this important sector.”
Guevara added that "COVID-19 has had a crushing global socio-economic impact and is threatening the jobs of millions of people whose very livelihoods depend upon a thriving travel and tourism sector for their survival." To note, during 2019, WTTC says that travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs or 330 million total across the globe. That's also a10.3 percent contribution to global GDP. Travel and tourism also generated one in four new jobs.
Series of Panels
Speakers and panelists for the upcoming summit represent a diverse range of science, research, clinical, academic, policy and business backgrounds, including among others, members of Scientists to Stop COVID-19, who have volunteered to participate.
The summit will discuss practical approaches to living in a world with COVID-19. A series of panels will each focus on a critical area of science surrounding COVID-19. Also included will be best practices from different industry sectors and world regions to control and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Panels will cover:
- Epidemiology: Incubation and peak infectivity periods for SARS-CoV-2; disease progression from exposure to illness; and symptom variability among different individuals and groups.
- Transmission: How, when and where SARS-CoV-2 spreads? Significance of environmental transmission? Guidelines for mitigating spread?
- Screening and Testing: Availability and accuracy of current testing methods; viable and cost effective ways to detect illness and effectiveness of screening using temperature and health questionnaires.
- Therapeutics: Status of vaccine development; available and approved SARS-CoV-2 treatment protocols; the role of cytokine storms; and profiles of COVID-19 recovery.
- Practical Risk Mitigation: Measures to mitigate the risks of social gatherings; balancing the benefits and risks of social gatherings; the role of testing, contact tracing, and managing the psychology of fear.
To register for the summit, visit CovidScienceSummit.com. Global participants will be invited to submit questions in advance and during the online event.