Response to the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak (2020/01/31)

Worldwide political commitment to pandemic preparedness is essential

The 2019 flagship report of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, A World at Risk, made it clear that the key question is not whether there will be a global pandemic, but when.1 While scientists and public health professionals are working non-stop to contain the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, political scientists, economists, and sociologists should also ready themselves for rapid response. The current outbreak that originated from Wuhan, China, first recognised barely a month ago,2 is very different from other outbreaks in terms of scale, connectivity, and political implications. It will teach us important lessons about preparedness but also about the response to outbreaks in different political systems within a new geopolitical world order.

Author: Ilona Kickbusch, Gabriel Leung