Ihe COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the world’s ability to track and respond to major infectious disease outbreaks. The 2014 to 16 Ebola epidemic in West Africa showed up longstanding weaknesses in the international health “system” – and how unprepared it was for a major outbreak. Four years on, and even countries thought to have strong response capabilities failed to detect the early signs of coronavirus outbreaks, or respond quickly enough. That meant that community transmission of the virus was already well established before governments could react. Think tanks and public policy institutes alike have been pushing for massive investment in outbreak response and care capacity. Pandemic preparedness has been described as a “global public good.” And yet globally, it's been left up to the national public health systems to carry the largest burden of cases, and the bulk of the costs.
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