Last Updated: December 27, 2022, 06:00 IST
There is a fear that future outbreaks of diseases could be deadlier than the present COVID-19 pandemic. (Representative image) (Representative image: Shutterstock)
The International Day of Epidemic Preparedness reminds us what we went through during the two years of peak-COVID infections
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EPIDEMIC PREPAREDNESS: Just as life was becoming normal after over two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new variant of the coronavirus, named BF.7, has emerged. The variant has become a cause for serious concern after a massive outbreak of cases in China. In such a climate, it is wise to remain prepared for future pandemic or epidemic situations. The International Day of Epidemic Preparedness is observed on December 27 to highlight the need for such an initiative.
International Day of Epidemic Preparedness: History
In its 75th session and 36th plenary meeting on December 7, 2020, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution which declared December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. The decision is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The declaration recognised the “devastating impacts of major infectious diseases and epidemics,” especially of the current COVID-19 pandemic, on people’s lives and the long-term damage to social and economic development. The UN General Assembly also noted how the present pandemic had overwhelmed the medical faculty and health systems globally, disrupted supply chains and disproportionately affected the livelihoods of people in poorer countries.
There is a fear that future outbreaks of diseases could be deadlier than the present COVID-19 pandemic. The UNGA’s Agenda item 131 document about International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, published on December 11, 2020, highlighted this.
The COVID-19 lockdowns wreaked havoc on the global economy. Supplies of ration and vital medicines were affected. Countless animals depending on humans for food for centuries were left to starve and die. To learn from the present and past disease outbreaks is to develop robust systems that will help prevent the disruption of vital necessities in the future.
International Day of Epidemic Preparedness: Significance
The International Day of Epidemic Preparedness reminds us what we went through during the two years of peak-COVID infections. Hospitals were overwhelmed. Family members could not conduct the last rites of their loved ones. Such grim situations could be avoided in the future if people remain alert and prepared.
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