The COVID-19 pandemic that has been engulfing the world for the past year has forced lives to come to a halt and created a new definition of the ‘normal’. The pandemic has portrayed the systemic nature of risk compelling most states to take sudden and spontaneous decisions in response. These decisions have curtailed the spread of the virus in the short run. Even though most states have been shocked and perplexed by the disastrous effects of COVID-19, it’s worth noting that infectious disease outbreaks are not a new phenomenon. Before the advent of the Corona virus, the world has been plagued by a number of outbreaks such as the Spanish flu of 1918 and the Asian flu of 1957. On 9th May 2020, the New York Times reported that the world should anticipate these types of outbreaks in future and therefore investing in preparedness for, rather than mere response to such outbreaks is crucial. The COVID-19 outbreak has also justified the need for paying significant attention to the enormity and complexity of risks associated with pandemics and the effective mitigation of such risks. This position paper examines the current status of epidemic and pandemic preparedness in Sri Lanka, based on the experiences from its response to Covid-19. The analysis identifies gaps and priorities for better integrating epidemic and pandemic preparedness into Sri Lanka’s national and local disaster risk reduction policies and plans.
|Publisher||University of Huddersfield|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Dec 2020|
|Event||International Symposium on Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Disaster Risk Reduction: To promote the availability and application of research, science and technology to support implementation of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 - Colombo, Sri Lanka|
Duration: 14 Dec 2020 → 16 Dec 2020