While The COVID-19 is ravaging the world there are some lessons for the future to be taken out from the response towards the pandemic. Coronavirus originated in the Huanan market of Wuhan, China and the SARS virus of 2003 also originated in a similar market the SARS outbreak eventually reached 71 countries and claimed nearly 800 lives. Most of the viruses which tend to make humans sick originate from animals like HIV from chimpanzees, Swine flu from pigs and the Ebola virus from bats. The evidence for the 2019 Coronavirus suggests that it went from a bat to a pangolin before infecting the first human. It is rare for a deadly virus to travel through different species as it requires all these organisms to encounter each other at one point. The Huanan market is not a normal market it is a wet-market. Here live animals are slaughtered and sold for consumption.
The wet markets of china offer wildlife and exotic species for consumption which can easily carry a deadly virus. The 2003 SARS outbreak was traced back to a wet market in southern China due to this the Chinese government shut down the markets and banned wildlife farming. But, just a few months after the outbreak the Chinese officials declared 54 species of wild animals legal to farm again. Now after the spread coronavirus the Chinese officials shut down the wet markets and temporarily banned wildlife farming again. Seeing the scale of this pandemic China needs to ban wildlife farming for good or else it deserves international sanctions.
The pandemic has clearly highlighted the inadequacies of the healthcare systems across the world. The governments all over the world tend to allocate a larger proportion of their budget to defense and military rather than healthcare. This situation is clearly visible in the case of India and in the end, it resulted in the shortage in the supply of testing and PPE kits. This needs to change as the healthcare department needs more finances for research and development than it is usually provided.
At first, when the coronavirus reached the west it was treated like the common flu which was a huge mistake. Now the virus has spread to unimaginable levels in western countries. If warnings would have been acknowledged maybe we could have mitigated this problem easily. This proves that policymakers must adhere to the warnings given by scientists and they should proceed by taking necessary measures.
The pandemic has made most of us realize the value of hygiene and sanitation but according to WHO an estimated 1.8 billion people (25% of the world’s population) live without access to adequate sanitation. Sanitation facilities must be made available to such individuals at any cost as these people are at a higher risk of getting and spreading disease. If the international community understands the problems in their response and learns from the mistakes made we can easily prevent and mitigate any future pandemic.