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HomeBreaking NewsFragmented COVID-19 Responses Are Still Holding Us Back

Fragmented COVID-19 Responses Are Still Holding Us Back

'Quick read' news summary

After largely avoiding widespread COVID-19 infections in South Korea since the pandemic began, the country is now leading the world in new cases reported over the last week. South Korea is not alone. From Hong Kong to New Zealand, many countries that have managed to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases and deaths since 2020 are now experiencing unprecedented spikes.

The last few weeks have yet again served as a testament to the global nature of the pandemic – no country is safe until all countries are safe from the virus. While some countries are reinstating lockdowns, others are taking their foot off the pedal or simply learning to live with the virus. With a highly transmissible virus adept at crossing borders in our globalized world, this kind of piecemeal approach is not working. Even before the Omicron variant took hold around the world, the fragmented pandemic preparedness and response effort taken at the international level and by countries led to millions of preventable deaths and trillions of dollars lost.

More than ever, the world needs a new international system to encourage global solidarity in times of crisis and enable countries at every income level to detect, alert and respond to health threats before they become pandemics. While many countries find themselves in the middle of new COVID-19 outbreaks, the time is now to plan ahead and make sure the next response is cohesive, equitable and effective. We cannot continue the global cycle of crisis and complacency, especially when we have the tools to correct it.

In a new Call to Action supported by Club de Madrid, the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention has proposed a bold path forward to address gaps in the current order and dramatically strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response systems through a new Pandemic Treaty

After largely avoiding widespread COVID-19 infections in South Korea since the pandemic began, the country is now leading the world in new cases reported over the last week. From Hong Kong to New Zealand, many countries that have managed to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases and deaths since 2020 are now experiencing unprecedented spikes. The last few weeks have yet again served as a testament to the global nature of the pandemic – no country is safe until all countries are safe from the virus.

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