Advisory committee on pandemic needs variety of experts, not just doctors, professor says


The committee of experts advising the government on the pandemic must reshape and feature experts from different research disciplines instead of just one to become more efficient, Manolis Dermitzakis, professor of genetics at the University of Geneva, said Friday.

Dermitzakis told Skai TV that in the first wave of the pandemic, the decisions for the committee were simple. It only had to decide whether some activities should open or close, while the public largely complied with the restrictive measures.

But the complexity of the situation as the pandemic continued from the summer onward was so great that a committee which only included doctors could not function.

Dermitzakis also argued that the panel must have fewer members.

“A committee that has 30-40 members and consists only of doctors cannot function,” he said. “It is a moment when we have to say that this committee is tired, perhaps it has passed the point where it can function. Maybe some of its members could continue to be useful, but what is needed is interdisciplinarity, that is, many different experts and fewer people – five, not 30.”

Dermitzakis also said he supported the reopening of schools, stores and outdoor eating venues.