Post COVID-19
Platform for Sustainable
Health Management
Economic Recovery
Legal/Governance System
Public Health Reform
Strengthening Role of WHO
Public Health Reform
Strengthening preparedness of public health emergency
COVID-19 has revealed limitations of health systems in multiple countries, deriving insights on the importance of public health emergency preparedness. For example, in the Republic of Korea, the number of hospital beds and negative pressure rooms were insufficient when the pandemic reached its climax; in China, shelter hospitals had to be built in a short period of time as they lacked hospital beds for the infected. Due to the distinction in emergency preparedness capacity, the importance of increasing investment to develop more concrete health systems in countries has been highlighted. This includes investment in appropriate medical equipment, enabling information management and risk communication, reinforcing surveillance and promoting medical experts in the field.

Another factor to effectively manage the emergency is to enhance regional cooperation. Keeping the interconnecting platform among different regions can become an essential base to handle the pandemic since the disease can be spread crossing borders, and collaborative system should be established in advance for better preparedness and effective resilience. This process will enable faster epidemiological investigation when there is an outbreak; furthermore, early-warning and adopting disease control measures with joint simulation would narrow the gaps in capacity between regions, consequently enlarging the ability of a country to combat the spread of a disease via comprehensive mechanism.
Creation of safe transport and trade system considering resilience
The role of the trade and transport sectors were also highlighted regarding operational connectivity and supply chains. The pandemic has shown that financial and material support between countries is needed for the global community to overcome the crisis, and for this process to operate, open borders for freight should be guaranteed. At the same time, this trade and transport facilitation should be done ‘safe,’ which means minimization of physical contact and ensuring the safety of people’s health.

Some of the previous processes of this interchange includes policies which could address the COVID-19 pandemic. As solutions to support further safe connectivity, countermeasures for contactless cooperation and implementation of electronic data exchange across borders could be prepared. Furthermore, this should include automation of the customs and reduction of non-tariff barriers as well, based on a collaborative approach from trade, transport and logistic fields.
Establishment of National Reference Centers and stabilization
During the pandemic crisis, the need for a center which could integrate the assets from different sectors such as biomedical sciences, research on medical and environmental sciences and public health was recognized. Covid-19 spreads on a global scale with rapid speed; therefore, in order to provide a preventive solution for another potential emergency , an international institution which can act as a reference and provide guidance for civil health should be established. The main task of this center is to construct internationally agreed specifications and standards on clinical case management, which includes epidemiological surveillance and alert systems. If possible, it should also promote the coordination of national and international organizations to produce a standardized, technical guidance on how to manage the infections disease emergency from an inclusive perspective.

In addition, laboratory capacity should be increased through this center, focusing on possible infections in the future as well as diagnostics for known diseases . Testing and analysis on a large scale should be held for reagent production; and based on the results, better performance in creating validated commercial diagnostic methods and distributing relevant vaccines can be possible. For this, the national center should support coordination between national and international partners to exchange advanced information and technology for development of effective therapies.
Reformation of structures of health insurance system
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of health insurance coverage since the cost of treatment can be extremely high. Along with the effect of COVID-19 on the worldwide economy, there was a massive rise in unemployment rates meaning people losing their job and employer-sponsored insurance at the same time. As more people became uninsured, the risk of them being exposed to the disease increases as well, leading to formation of barriers in receiving appropriate medical treatments to the health problems they suffer from. Another issue is that there appeared a coverage gap between people with and without insurance. Especially for children, the gap had reached 23%, and sometimes it had even shown larger difference when disease exacerbation or progression was associated.

Therefore, the portion of public insurance enrollment should be increased so that families’ health status are not impacted by job loss. In the short term, the gaps in insurance and families who lack of social and economic resources should be identified; in the long term, policies improving the stability of health insurance coverage should be developed and be implemented.
Developing disease impact assessment tools regarding sustainability and social inclusiveness
Adopting measures for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial, but evaluation of the potential trade-offs and impacts is also important to identify the vulnerability of health systems to the disease. For example, the measurement criteria could include process tracking on impacts of policy coherence and the co-benefits derived by implementing SDGs strategies. Multiple types of qualitative and quantitative indicators exist, but it is important to consider the needs and circumstances of each country to accurately measure the impacts. This process of accumulating external and administrative data would later become the background of decision-making when a disease reoccurs, leading to the ability to respond and adapt faster to future shocks.
Reduce data gaps through providing official statistics through collaboration of government and the private sector
During the pandemic, one of the factors which reduced the scale of the pandemic was real-time data.. This had played an important role in suppression of the pandemic through enabling quick epidemiological research and preventing additional infections. Although its proper function was recognized, an issue which rose was that the information was too disaggregated across nations. The information was being provided in non-integrated format, and additionally due to lack of a representative dashboard, possibility of distortion of the facts relative to the impact of COVID-19 existed.

To narrow down the data gaps and lower the time lagging in official statistics, the availability of data should be guaranteed beforehand through collaboration of government and the private sector. To restate, the private sector should utilize its statistical capacity to collect timely data; whereas the government should coordinate with private sector to enhance data accuracy and seek ways to provide it through a comprehensive format.
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G. Ippolito, E.N. Lauria, F. Locatellli et al. Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic – Unique Opportunities for Unifying, Revamping and Reshaping Epidemic Preparedness of Europe’s Public Health Systems. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 101 (2020) 361-366. Available at:
OECD, Building a coherent response for a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery. Available at:
OECD, Sustainable Development Report 2020: The Sustainable Development Goals and Covid-19. Available at: