COVID-19 pandemic has given insights into the systemic risks of a hazard, demonstrating the potency of biological hazards to not only render one sector dysfunctional but also fail the entire system. The grave and devastating impacts of the current COVID-19 call for the need to assess the state of global and national preparedness for future pandemics. This chapter provides an outline of Sri Lanka's response to the COVID-19 pandemic while delving into the current status and gaps concerning preparedness for pandemics in the country. The analysis is aimed at providing key recommendations for policymakers to improve national-level preparedness for anticipated pandemic threats. This chapter has drawn on a review of secondary literature and primary data gathered through in-depth interviews conducted with key informants in the disaster management and public health sectors in the country. Findings show that while preparedness planning for biological hazards is predominantly a responsibility of the health sector in the country, there is a pressing need to strengthen such preparedness through a unified legal framework and system of governance that allow for the transfer of relevant expertise, infrastructure, and lessons learned from previous hazards contexts to situations of pandemics; the incorporation of pandemic preparedness into national-level DRR efforts and subnational-level DRR planning; intensifying national focus on building economic and social resilience; emulating a multisectoral approach, enhancing private sector participation, and establishing a national framework to foster preparedness for parallel hazards.
|Title of host publication||Pandemic Risk, Response, and Resilience|
|Subtitle of host publication||COVID-19 Responses in Cities around the World|
|Editors||Indrajit Pal, Rajib Shaw|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 20 May 2022|