Preparedness Costs Only Fraction Of Impact Of Pandemic: Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi: Covid-19 has taught that preparedness costs are only a fraction of the impact of a pandemic, but the returns on this investment are exponential, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

The Minister also underlined the need for greater collaboration between countries on various aspects of healthcare during his virtual address to a conference on “COVID-19 Pandemic: A Call for Health Security and Peace in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region” on Wednesday.

“We must admit that in such times of global crisis, both risk management and mitigation would require further deepening of global partnerships to re-energize interest and investment in global public health,” he said while revisiting the one-year impact of the novel coronavirus since the disease was declared a public health emergency of international concern.

“We also need to conquer the adversary by supplementing each other’s capacity by pooling our resources. An important lesson Covid-19 has taught us is that preparedness costs only a fraction of the impact of a pandemic, but the returns on this investment are exponential.”

This pandemic, the Health Minister said, disrupted life as we knew it, but also provided a steep learning curve for all of us to become more resilient and better prepared for the future.

“But we must all understand and agree, shared challenges shall only be overcome through shared efforts. No country can prepare or remain safe in silos,” the Minister was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Health Ministry.

The Minister said that India’s federal structure and subsequent public health system posed various challenges due to the wide diversity that prevails throughout the length and breadth of the country.

As per the statement, the Minister highlighted that India’s pandemic management was based on centralized monitoring but a decentralized implementation approach.

“To effectively monitor the pandemic, India established a digitally enabled Covid War room at the central level as well as the state level to increase agility and enhance efforts in the fight against the virus.

“One of the most crucial aspects of our fight against Covid-19 was centralized training of frontline health workers and constant dissemination of authenticated information to the masses through various mediums to mitigate the misconceptions around Covid-19 and to spread awareness about Covid appropriate behaviour,” Harsh Vardhan said.