Categories
Guidance

Asia-Pacific Zero COVID Coalition Concept Paper

The Asia-Pacific Zero COVID Coalition (“AZCC”) is envisioned as a grouping of Asia-Pacific jurisdictions committed to achieving a COVID-free world by promoting the “Zero COVID” approach to coronavirus elimination. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam – which have achieved stunning success in their efforts to zero out coronavirus transmission – would be the founding members of the AZCC. By restricting its membership to medium and small-sized jurisdictions, the AZCC would seek to separate geopolitical tensions from Zero COVID advocacy, though the AZCC would pursue close cooperation with China, the United States, the European Union, and other major powers and international organizations.

The world needs the AZCC: even in the face of mutating coronavirus strains and a multi-year timeline for global coronavirus vaccination, most countries do not understand the Asia-Pacific Zero COVID approach, let alone have plans to adopt it. The AZCC would encourage wider understanding and adoption of Zero COVID policies through the identification and sharing of best practices, public diplomacy campaigns, diplomatic outreach, and technical assistance.

Zero COVID Strategy: This approach treats every single new coronavirus infection as a significant threat and rejects the notion there is a “safe level” of coronavirus transmission. It entails clear public communication about the benefits and costs of COVID eradication, strict precautions to prevent the importation of infections from abroad, short and tight lockdowns to crush outbreaks when they first appear, supported isolation away from home for infected individuals, along with other measures. AZCC members are successfully implementing these tactics, which is why their citizens have suffered least from the coronavirus pandemic.

AZCC Lines of Action:

  • Kick-Off Event and Public Diplomacy Campaign: Hold an in-person high-level kick-off conference, followed by a global public diplomacy campaign, to showcase the success of AZCC members and generate awareness of the Zero COVID approach.
  • Share Best Practices: Identify and publicize best practices of the Zero COVID approach.
  • Provide Technical Assistance: Advise other governments – either directly or through partner organizations – regarding the implementation of Zero COVID strategies.
  • Diplomatic Outreach: Members will jointly advocate for Zero COVID measures within international organizations such as the World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as bilaterally with third countries.

Next Steps: EndCoronavirus.org founder Yaneer Bar-Yam (yaneer@necsi.edu) and Federation of American Scientists President Ali Nouri (anouri@fas.org) are initiating discussions with officials from potential AZCC members regarding the establishment of the Coalition. Interested individuals can reach out directly to Prof. Bar-Yam or Dr. Nouri or share this paper with officials from potential AZCC members.


Asia-Pacific countries should lead the world on Zero COVID

CAMBRIDGE (January 26, 2021) — American scientists, public health experts, and community activists—under the auspices of the COVID Action Group—have requested that Asia-Pacific countries and jurisdictions assume a global leadership role in promoting the “Zero COVID” approach to eliminating coronavirus.

Members of the COVID Action Group have reached out to representatives of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam regarding the establishment of an “Asia-Pacific Zero COVID Coalition” (AZCC).

“The proactive response of these Asia-Pacific countries has proven itself to be the best for saving lives and the economy,” said Prof. Yaneer Bar-Yam physicist and pandemic expert and founder of the COVID Action Group.

COVID Action Group co-founder Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding Epidemiologist & Health Economist added “With the rapid rise of more and more SARS-CoV2 variants of concern it is critical we redouble public health efforts to focus on Zero COVID strategies that can end the pandemic and have been successful in many countries around the world.”

The world needs a Zero COVID Coalition: even in the face of mutating coronavirus strains and a multi-year timeline for global coronavirus vaccination, most countries do not understand the Asia-Pacific Zero COVID approach, let alone have plans to adopt it.

Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam have achieved stunning success against coronavirus, and they could speed the global eradication of COVID-19 by promoting the key elements of their strategies. AZCC leaders make “Zero COVID” a national goal and rally people behind that goal. They treat every single new coronavirus infection as a significant threat and reject the notion there is a “safe level” of coronavirus transmission. They implement strict precautions to prevent the importation of infections from abroad. They carry out short and tight lockdowns to crush outbreaks when they first appear. And they provide supported isolation away from home for infected individuals.

The AZCC could promote the global adoption of the Zero COVID strategy through a public diplomacy campaign showcasing the success of AZCC members; identification of best practices for coronavirus elimination; technical assistance to governments interesting in implementing Zero COVID policies; and joint diplomatic efforts to mainstream the Zero COVID approach in multilateral bodies such as the World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization.

We believe any international effort to support Zero COVID would be most effective if it is strictly divorced from geopolitics, though Asia-Pacific jurisdictions could coordinate closely with great powers such as the People’s Republic of China, the United States, and European Union.

The COVID Action Group and its partner organizations are hosted a COVID Community Action Summit January 26-28, featuring speakers involved in New Zealand and Australia’s public health efforts. This summit was open to all and free to attend. Learn more at: https://necsi.edu/c-cas