How to reduce the future risk of pandemic?

Covid-19 pandemic brought devastating economic and social disruption. Ten of millions of people are risking to drop into extreme poverty while more than three million of people are dead due to Covid-19. What can we do now to prevent the emergence of pandemic in the future?

First, surveillance and detection of viruses in human and perhaps animal as well. The objective it to track new infection quickly and prevent the spreading of the disease. The key step to prevent global pandemic is to invest in research programs to detect the disease spread as soon as it rises. For example, organisation EcoHealth Alliance are running a program to monitor zoonotic diseases but fail to expand the surveillance area due to limited funding. With enough resources, virus spreading can be quickly tracked down and prevent virus spillover in areas where people are in high contact with wildlifes as flu can emerge from human-livestock contact. 

Second, we should proactively develop vaccines and therapeutics for potentially pandemic viruses. In 2017, Coalition for Pandemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was set up to fund the development of vaccines. At an early stage, the only coronavirus vaccine funded was only for MERS and the progress is not fast enough. On March 10 2021, CEPI announced that global healthcare organisations showed their support for CEPI’s $3.5 billion plan to eliminate future risk of pandemic. Such effort should be set up and inspired more to prevent future pandemic emergence.