Special Issue "COVID-19 Public Policies Around the World: Lessons Learnt from a Series of Case Studies of the First Pandemic Wave"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2021).
Interests: clinical immunology; autoimmunity and immunotherapies; HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; hepatitis; Covid-19; global health governance and diplomacy; drug policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Interests: public policies; public innovation; global health; citizen participation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
We warmly welcome this original series of papers analyzing the early response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in 16 countries from across the globe.
This Special Issue provides a comprehensive overview of the epidemiological situation and of national public health responses during the period of March–April 2020 when the pandemic was close to or reaching the peak of its first wave. Most governments, at the time, made swift decisions to enforce aggressive public health measures, including massive containment and social distancing measures, control of movement and restrictions on a number of civil rights under the temporary exercise of exceptional powers. The papers in this Special Issue also provide an early consideration of the economic, social, and political impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.
The world’s response to Covid-19 clearly appears as having been highly heterogeneous, although many governments have in common to have done too little and too late to contain the spread of the epidemic. No country appears to have taken the best decisions and course of action. However, the best outcomes are seen in countries that experienced a major health crisis (H1N1 influenza or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)) in the recent past and in those whose leaders have not minimized the importance of the crisis. Everywhere around the world, health professionals have been on the front line, with extraordinary mobilization. The papers in this Special Issue recognize their role in supporting society and also as drivers of human and economic development.
There are two original features to this Special Issue:
One is that it will serve as a fairly unique scientific archive. Most of the available documentation on the acute phase of the pandemic originates from conventional and social media rather than from peer-reviewed scientific accounts. We are convinced that the material collected and presented here will serve as a valuable source of information in the near future, as countries look back to gauge the appropriateness of the nature and timing of the public health measures they have taken and assess the strengths and weaknesses of their health systems and emergency decision-making processes.
The other is the authorship. Each paper is the result of a collective analytical and drafting process by small groups of students of the University of Geneva Master of Science in global health, working from distance and supervised in their work by a mentor. An innovative and, to us, remarkable initiative that did not concede in any way to the rigor of scientific publication. Each paper was seen by the Editors before being sent for full review and consequent acceptance for publication following answers to the reviewers’ comments.
Drawing the lessons from the material presented here means recognizing the vital importance of country preparedness, capitalizing on experience and cross-fertilizing know-how and best practices, realizing the broad and longer-term medical, social, and economic consequences of lockdowns, becoming even more aware that times of crisis lead to divergent and precipitous responses rather than to the coordinated, science-based response that we would expect from a stronger global public health architecture.
Prof. Dr. Michel Kazatchkine
Dr. Sana de Courcelles
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