General Article How can the world handle the next pandemic if it struggles with new variants?

Topic Selected: Global Health Book Volume: 419

A better and more modernised approach to preparing for disease outbreaks is crucial to save lives in the future.

By Professor Martin Antonio and Professor Adam Kucharski, Co-Directors of the Centre for Epidemic Preparedness & Response at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

March 2022 marks two years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rapid and wide spread of COVID-19 to be a pandemic. It was – sadly –  clear that the world wasn’t ready.

Two years and more than six million deaths later, and following scores of articles about how countries could have done better, what have we learnt? Are we ready for the next threat?

The Omicron variant has provided an unwanted but useful test, and the results do not bode well for the next pandemic. The response to Omicron has been fragmented, inconsistent and often evidence-free. But despite these problems, there are some examples emerging globally for how we can do better in future – and learning from these lessons w...

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