Today, December 27, is being observed as the first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness as the United Nations General Assembly urged its member states and all other countries to mark December 27 every year as a day of advocating the importance of global partnerships against epidemics. According to the United Nations, there is a desperate need to have ‘resilient and robust health systems’, in order to reach the needy and the vulnerable. This year, coronavirus took over the entire world and led to global destruction. Further, future epidemics could surpass the intensity of previous outbreaks and it is important for everybody to stay aware and prepared.
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This year we have seen the tragedy that strikes when health facilities are overwhelmed by a new, highly infectious & often deadly disease.
We must learn from this experience.
Investments in health systems can improve countries’ preparedness & response to future emergencies.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 27, 2020
A new initiative
Describing COVID-19 as a ‘human tragedy’, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said, “COVID-19 is a human tragedy. But it has also created a generational opportunity. An opportunity to build back a more equal and sustainable world. The response to the pandemic, and to the widespread discontent that preceded it, must be based on a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal that create equal opportunities for all and respect the rights and freedoms of all”.
The United Nations said that there are two factors that play an important role in coping with the pandemic: International cooperation and Multilateralism play. It said, “We need to stress the significance of partnership and solidarity among every individual, community and State, and regional and international organizations, in all stages of epidemic management, as well as the importance of considering a gender perspective in this regard”.
The United Nations also urged on the need to recognize the primary role and responsibility of governments across the world . It is also important to realise the indispensable contribution of relevant stakeholders in tackling global health challenges, especially women. According to the UN, the World Health Organization played an important role in supporting international efforts to be able to get rid of the pandemic. With this, it also recognized the pivotal role of governments and other major stakeholders such as healthcare workers in dealing with the situation.
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The COVID-19 pandemic which saw its first outbreak in a wet market in Wuhan, China last year has now spread all across the world. The virus, named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation, has infected 80,720,289 people worldwide with the global death toll at 1,764,698. As per the John Hopkins coronavirus resource centre, the United States has reported a total of 19,433,847 positive virus cases and has a death toll of 339,921. The US currently has the highest number of reported cases in the world, making it the epicentre of the deadly virus.
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