Health | COVID-19 Research Task Team | TOR

Task Team Terms of Reference

Scope: The WMO COVID 19-Research Task Team will be established for an 18 months period (June 2020-December 2021). Efforts of this task team should align with other networks/initiatives addressing the main objectives.

Aim: It will respond to the real-time challenge of providing decision support relevant knowledge on climate-weather-air pollution drivers and determinants of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, by providing a platform to discuss and share science-based insights, and to form functional partnerships.

Specific Tasks: 

  1. Co-host an international online symposium and webinars on the seasonal and environmental confounders of the corona virus pandemic; share ongoing research findings, fast-track peer-review and discussion, identify promising scientific results;
  2. Provide a rapid review and coordination mechanism to issue authoritative WMO statements on the state of knowledge every 3-6 months, as needed;
  3. If, over the first 12 months strong scientific evidence will support the relevance of environmental conditions as drivers of transmission, the TT should benchmark the possibility of the operationalization of predictive modelling capabilities and coordinate with WMO specialized centers for the operationalization;
  4. Support the sharing of information, contacts, and data/information resources, and identify gaps and additional needs for operational services and their data requirements;
  5. Liaise with and respond to the needs of the Permanent Representatives of Members or their designated experts, as well as organizations, international research bodies and other stakeholders;
  6. Consolidate and promote resources of WMO Members and Programmes in support of corona virus – climate – weather-air pollution nexus research and other activities that scientists, the health sector and the public may undertake;
  7. Identify and promote a structured set of priority research questions, objectives and priorities for research investment in the areas of the pandemics – weather – climate-air quality nexus;
  8. Advise and inform on good practices and minimum standards for methods for integrated infectious disease modelling considering environmental determinants;
  9. Coordinate with the SERCOM-Study Group on Integrated Health Services (once established) to ensure that best practices, operational procedures and service readiness are established to deal with pandemic events in future.
  10. Recommend to WMO leadership how corona virus – climate – weather-air quality nexus research and information delivery should be implemented in future WMO activities.

Membership: Task team will include 12-15 experts proposed by the WMO Research Board, representing WMO Research Programmes, National Hydrological and Meteorological Services, SERCOM-HEA-SG, the WHO, and subject matter experts including notable active research teams investigating environmental influences on COVID-19. All experts should be nominated to the WMO Expert Network.


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