From the plague to Covid-19, 300 years of resistance to pandemics in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean of the Future is a diplomatic summit organized by the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to address issues facing countries bordering the Mediterranean. Its fourth edition, which opens on Tuesday via video link, will focus on the Covid-19 pandemic. Scroll down to watch video of the summit.

History repeats itself, as they say. The great plague of Marseille in 1720 killed about 50,000 of the city’s inhabitants. In Western Europe, it was the last major outbreak of bubonic plague, which is still considered one of the deadliest diseases in history.

Three hundred years later, SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (or Covid-19) appeared between October and December 2019 somewhere in China. From the first outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus spread rapidly worldwide, infecting 63 million people and killing over 1.4 million as of November 30, 2020.

When health representatives around the world work around the clock to limit the disease, the fourth edition of the Mediterranean Summit will look at challenges related to this health crisis. The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Professor Didier Raoult, director of the Méditerranée Institute of Infectious Diseases and specialist in infectious diseases and also professor of microbiology, will take part in the summit debate.

As part of this, Jowharjournalist Aziza Nait Sibaha will moderate two roundtable discussions with health experts. The first, which will take place at 10-11 on December 1, asks: What can we learn from the great pandemics of the past?

The topic of the second debate, from 11.15 to 12 and also on 1 December, is: How can we resist and cooperate better in view of the health crisis?

More information about the summit can be found here.