Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The potency of a disease to spread and affect human beings across the globe multiplied with seamless travel made possible today. Originated in China, COVID-19 has spread across the globe bringing human lives, society, and the economy to its knees.

What amplified the virulence of the diseases is the abject unpreparedness of the global healthcare system to face such outbreaks. The primary lesson that the global community needs to deliver is the need of creating levels to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks.

Cooperation and collaboration between countries, organisations, and communities are crucial in taming future crises. As a result, crisis preparedness and risk communication between different entities are essential in minimising the social and economic impact. Being ready for such a crisis is the best way to prevent outbreaks take a diabolical magnitude.

The pandemic has brought forth the necessity of having a strong healthcare system with an ability to cater to a high influx of patients while protecting the healthcare workers. Investments in healthcare systems and a skilled workforce will help develop resilience. While we have made advances in developing medicines, antibiotic resistance is another challenge to confront while we address global health. Managing an epidemic also requires a mass administration of vaccines and medicines at a price, the global community can afford.

The fight against the Covid-19 is not over as cases surge again in India. The vaccination drive needs to gather speed and the use of the private sector in the vaccination drive is necessary. The decision to allow people above 45 years of age is a step in the right direction.

That said, India has a huge population to vaccinate before we develop herd immunity. Digital infrastructure will play a vital role in the administration of vaccines. The use of digital tools for such a large-scale implementation is necessary but it results in challenges including that of applying appropriate digital tools according to regions and low digital literacy among healthcare workers and the population.

The black swan event left the pharmaceutical sector with its share of lessons. The dependence on China for the APIs was a wake-up call. The pandemic tested global supply chain order and the pharma sector was not left untouched by the impact. The imperative today is to integrate digital innovations to strengthen the supply chain and add resilience against the crisis. Moving ahead, the industry and regulator will be required to collaborate with the same enthusiasm displayed during the outbreak of the pandemic.

As we move to a new normal, one that ushers in an age of new-age communications and technology, employees will become a pillar of employee success. An efficient organisation will be transparent, agile as well as accountable. Building and maintaining trust will be necessary to draw synergies from collaborations. Pharma companies will strengthen their focus on science and innovate further as global competitiveness gathers steam.  Amidst this, the global community needs to draw lessons from Covid-19 to avoid such disruptions and abject failure in the future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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