Dec. 27 Declared International Day of Epidemic Preparedness
Mark your calendars: the United Nations has declared Dec. 27 to be International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, highlighting the prevention of, preparedness for and partnerships against epidemics.
Adopted on the heels of a two-day general assembly devoted to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN stated that COVID-19 is not the first epidemic the world has faced in recent years, nor will it be the last. “The pandemic caught us off guard, but it also has served as a wake‑up call for improving our preparedness,” said Vietnam representative Dang Dinh Quy, who introduced the resolution, observing that an International Day on Epidemic Preparedness can help achieve that goal.
At least half of the world’s population lacks full coverage for essential health services and those hit hardest during the COVID‑19 pandemic include the elderly, the poor, the displaced and others who do not have full health coverage. This day may be an effort by the UN to draw more attention to smaller nation-states that may be concerned they wouldn’t otherwise be represented in global decisions about the coronavirus vaccine or recovery.
The UN also requested that the World Health Organization facilitate the observance of the day to ensure that proper, science-based information and best practices for disease prevention and response are transmitted globally.
“Given that the General Assembly has previously declared international days devoted to chess, yoga and toilets, it only seems fair that epidemics should have their day too,” International Crisis Group’s UN director Richard Gowan told Reuters.