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

The fourth edition of the Mediterranean of the Future summit will focus on the Covid-19 crisis.
The fourth edition of the Mediterranean of the Future summit will focus on the Covid-19 crisis. © Screengrab

The Mediterranean of the Future is a diplomatic summit organised by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region to deal with issues faced by countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Its fourth edition, which opens on Tuesday by videolink, will focus on the Covid-19 pandemic. Scroll down to watch video of the summit.


History repeats itself, as the saying goes. 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, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (or Covid-19) appeared between October and December 2019 somewhere in China. From its initial outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus quickly spread across the globe, infecting 63 million people and killing over 1.4 million as of November 30, 2020.

As health officials worldwide work around the clock to contain the disease, the fourth edition of the Mediterranean of the Future summit will look at challenges related to this health crisis. French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and professor Didier Raoult, director of the  Méditerranée infection Institute and a specialist in infectious diseases and also a professor of microbiology, will take part in the summit's debates.

As part of this, FRANCE 24 journalist Aziza Nait Sibaha will moderate two roundtable discussions with health experts. The first, which will take place from 10-11am on December 1, will ask: What can we learn from the big pandemics of the past?

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

Further information on the summit can be found here

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