In the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world has been exerting immense efforts on overcoming the virus. While governments and medical sectors are concentrating on treatment and development of vaccines and medicines, the ICT sector has also been playing a pivotal role in enabling various economic activities while helping alleviate the spread of the virus.
In continuation of the function of the Working Group on ‘Epidemic Preparedness’ in 2018, the new Working Group on ‘Epidemic Management’ will analyse various global efforts, best practices and valuable learnings in tackling COVID-19 and present how the world could work together to overcome future waves of epidemics and pandemics, reflecting various social, cultural and national environments and approaches.
The executive summary covers the current status of the COVID-19 outbreak, the need for a framework for responding to future pandemics and cases in 15 countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa including:
- Governance and regulatory response strategies for COVID-19;
- Quarantine and policies that can mitigate socio-economic impacts;
- Vaccination strategies;
- Public acceptance of policies;
- Contributions from international organizations responding to COVID-19; and,
- Best ICT practices for COVID-19 response.
Based on the results of these analyses, we would like to suggest the following: 1) expanded use of ICT for quarantine and liberalized movement; 2) infrastructure to ensure ICT accessibility for developing countries and marginalized sectors; 3) flexible regulation of data and networks for efficient use of ICT in outbreak management; 4) global public-private cooperation of infectious disease data and coordinating policies among countries.