Dr Anu Grover, DGM-Medical Affairs, Ipca Laboratories, Mumbai and Meenu Grover Sharma, Principal Consultant, BusinessAssociar Consulting, New Delhi chart out the long term consequences that a global pandemic like COVID-19 will have on our healthcare system and our policy making infrastructure
Prevalence of infectious diseases has increased globally as humans have spread across the world. Outbreaks have been occurring frequently, but every outbreak does not reach a global pandemic level as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has. Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of infectious disease with high burden of morbidity and mortality over a wide geographic area and cause significant economic, social, and political disruption. Globalization, with increased global integration and travel, urbanization, and greater exploitation of the natural environment, has led to pandemics spreading quickly, with COVID-19 being deadliest of all witnessed in our lifetimes thus far.
Pandemics have had significant social and economic cost to humanity over centuries
Pandemics have afflicted civilizations throughout human history, with the earliest recorded outbreak of Plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War in 430 BC. There are many views about the exact causes of this pandemic. Some believe it was Typhus or Typhoid. The disease passed through Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt, and then it crossed the Athenian walls as the Spartans laid siege. As much as two-thirds of the population died. Some of the other major pandemics that changed human history include Antonine plague (165 A.D) that began with the Huns, in Athens, who infected the Germans, wh