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5 Key Takeaways from COVID-19 Pandemic

Challenges, problems and failures are the best school of learning. Undoubtedly, COVID-19 is one of the biggest challenges and human health problems of the 21st century. Its outcomes – global uncontrolled infections, deaths, economic crisis, and unemployment, are some of the biggest collective failures of our progress in medical science and research, healthcare infrastructure, governments and administrations, and peoples.

Here are 5 takeaways from the COVID-19 Pandemic to build a better world.

Invest More in Medical Science Study and Research

Had we been able to bring specific treatments and vaccines against the current pandemic in weeks or months, we could have saved hundreds and thousands of lives. Our response time to a public health emergency should be short.

Track the Progress on COVID-19 Vaccine Development

It may sound dramatic and impossible now considering the history of developing medicines and vaccinations for previous epidemic and pandemic like polio, cholera, chikungunya, plague and Ebola, but this is now the demand of the hour. We should expedite our disease-combating processes. A more collaborative, comprehensive work in an agile fashion is required.

Education is the most powerful weapon to contain the pain of humanity. Though much has been done in the fields of immunology, molecular or viral oncology, a lot more remains to be done. Investment in medical health research and development (R&D) should go up. Governments must allocate more funds, and ensure their effective utilization. Academia around the world should work without barrier. Their heads be granted autonomy to share their studies and researches in their community.

A greater attention is required on identifying viral-borne infection or diseases because unlike bacteria, viruses operate by making our body cells and tissues their hostage, which makes their treatment difficult as doctors have to kill the infection without damaging the body’s cells and tissues.

Upscale and Upgrade Intensive Care Capacity

COVID-19 showed us how vulnerable our healthcare infrastructure is.  Even in the developed economies like the USA, Spain, Italy, and the UK, the system failed in delivering intensive care to critically-ill patients. Scarcity of hospitals, doctors, ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, and other assets was a common affair across the nations affected with the virus.

Boost Health Tech Innovations

Healthcare industry should take advantage of technologies like cloud computing, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to build products and solutions to boost and expedite R&D activities in medical science, democratising diagnostics, ease monitoring and tracking of patients, and delivery of healthcare service with a great precision. The priority should also be on keeping the costing of products and services affordable and easily accessible.

Shatter the Barrier of Knowledge or Information Sharing

Almost one-and-a-half-month time got wasted between identifying the first case or Patient Zero of Coronavirus (17 November 2019) in Wuhan (Hubei, China) and its public announcement (1 December 2019). Another one month passed in getting it declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. Imagine the spread of the infection, which has an alarming doubling rate, in the period wasted.

The rules and regulations should be made to benefit the society at large not to serve the interest of a restricted group(s) or individual(s), regimen (s) or policy (ies). The ethics and values of institutions should be focused on serving humanity. Governments should take steps to get rid of obstacles that prohibit sharing of learning and experiences.

Global Ombudsman for Transportation

Isolation of COVID-19-hit areas from the rest of the world in the very beginning could have helped us to contain the disease from becoming a deadly pandemic that it is now.

The role of United Nations is not questionable, but it needs a dedicated universal authoritative body for handling cross-borders transportation. There is a need for a global ombudsman to control and monitor International transportation via air and sea both. Airport or seaport authorities of the world should be made members of that governing global body.

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