Epidemic Preparedness- How prepared are we for the next epidemic?
It's been well over a year since the first case of Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province. The virus has so far killed close to 1.75 million people around the world and has infected more than 79 million of us. Governments and regulatory bodies are scrambling to fast-track vaccines to save their vulnerable citizens. But the pandemic is far from over, we still have a long way to go to get over the line.
Very recently, reports are stating that the virus has mutated, resulting in a new strain that is even more contagious. Originating from London, United Kingdom, cases with a similar strain have been reported in Denmark, France, Italy, South Africa, and many more countries. Although in South Africa, the mutation is similar but the variant is different. We are once again witnessing countries closing their borders and tougher restrictions being imposed by governments.
The stark reality is that we're just unable to get over the tidal wave of infections and it is gradually getting the better of us. What's even more infuriating is that we need to endure this reality alone in our own homes. Powerless, isolated, and frustrated are just a few adjectives that best describe our situation. However, we need to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we need to be patient if we want our normal lives back.
In line with this, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has approved a resolution proclaiming December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness to keep a global spotlight on the need to strengthen global measures to prevent pandemics like COVID-19.