UN designates Dec. 27 ‘International Epidemic Preparedness’ Day

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has approved a resolution proclaiming December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness to keep a global spotlight on the need to strengthen global measures to prevent pandemics like COVID-19.

The resolution adopted Monday by consensus by the 193-member world body expresses “grave concern at the devastating impacts of major infectious diseases and epidemics, as exemplified by the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, on human lives.”

Epidemics wreak havoc “on long-term social and economic development,” and create health crises that “threaten to overwhelm already overstretched health systems, disrupt global supply chains and cause disproportionate devastation of the livelihoods of people … and the economies of the poorest and most vulnerable countries,” the resolution said.

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The assembly underlined the urgency of having robust health systems and expressed deep concern that without international attention “future epidemics could surpass previous outbreaks in terms of intensity and gravity.”

It asked the U.N. World Health Organization to facilitate the observance of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness to ensure the transmission and exchange of information, scientific knowledge and best practices on preventing and responding to epidemics locally, nationally, regionally and internationally.

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