Bremen Scientists Coordinate COVID-19 Public Health Competence Network

The coronavirus is keeping Germany and the whole world on its toes and politicians must make quick decisions that affect many people. A network of around 20 specialist associations, including the University of Bremen, is aiming to help improve the basis for such decisions.

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has spread across the globe in a short space of time. Worldwide over 1.5 million people have been diagnosed as having the virus and around 100,000 people have died due to COVID-19. In Germany, over 100,000 people tested positive and it is assumed that there are many unrecorded cases. Public life has basically come to a standstill in nearly all of Europe.

Decisions and Unanswered Questions

It is still the case that there are many unanswered questions regarding the exact infection paths, the infection and mortality rate, or the best treatments. What is clear is that COVID-19 will accompany us for months, if not years. A permanent lockdown is not an option: Children must go to school, jobs must be kept, and the supply of provisions must be guaranteed. Politicians across the globe are searching for the best ways to contain the virus but also keep the consequences of the measures as slight as possible at the same time. They are confronted with much, often contrary, information and many demands whilst doing this.

“COVID-19 Public Health” Competence Network

There is currently a great demand for founded, interdisciplinary knowledge. The “COVID-19 Public Health” competence network with its 20 specialist associations from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, was founded in order for bundled expert knowledge to be contributed. Professor Ansgar Gerhardus from the Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research at the University of Bremen is the chairman of the German Association for Public Health and one of the network’s founders: “It was important for us that current and interdisciplinary expertise on COVID-19 was quickly available for the discussions that are being held at the moment and for the decision-making processes. In topic-based working groups, we are providing the best scientific news as summarized information.” Professor Hajo Zeeb, a scientist at the University of Bremen and the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, added: “The strength of the public health competence network is its combined methodical, epidemiological, statistical, social science-based, and (public) health expertise from several thousand scientists.

How Is the Competence Network helping?

Members of the competence network are in direct contact with the decision makers in ministries and federal offices. All results are being published immediately on the website. Other agents from health, social, and economic fields can also find information there.

Further Information:



Prof. Dr. med. Ansgar Gerhardus, M.A., MPH
Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research (IPP)
Phone: +49 (0)421 218-68800
Email: ansgar.gerhardusprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Prof. Dr. med. Hajo Zeeb
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS
Phone: +49 (0)421 218-56902
Email: zeebprotect me ?!leibniz-bipsprotect me ?!.de


Scientists in the laboratory