Not the Last Pandemic: Investing Now to Reimagine Public-Health Systems   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has exposed overlooked weaknesses in the world's infectious-disease-surveillance and -response capabilities-- weaknesses that have persisted in spite of the obvious harm they caused during prior outbreaks. Many countries, including some thought to have strong response capabilities, failed to detect or respond decisively to the early signs of SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] outbreaks. That meant they started to fight the virus's spread after transmission was well established. Once they did mobilize, some nations struggled to ramp up public communications, testing, contact tracing, critical-care capacity, and other systems for containing infectious diseases. Ill-defined or overlapping roles at various levels of government or between the public and private sectors resulted in further setbacks. Overall, delayed countermoves worsened the death toll and economic damage. [...] [I]nfectious diseases will continue to emerge, and a vigorous program of capacity building will prepare the world to respond better than we have so far to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we describe the five areas that such a program might cover: building 'always on' response systems, strengthening mechanisms for detecting infectious diseases, integrating efforts to prevent outbreaks, developing healthcare systems that can handle surges while maintaining the provision of essential services, and accelerating R&D [research & development] for diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines."

2020 McKinsey & Company
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