Tikki Pangestu, Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) and former Director of Research Policy and Cooperation at the WHO, shares his views on the current Covid-2019 situation and gives insight into the inner workings of the WHO during crises such as these.
Part of a recently launched podcast series called Foreseeable, this podcast discusses the spectrum of issues plaguing the development of the novel coronavirus – from China’s initial response to the information avalanche that confronts us in the digital age. Foreseeable podcast series is part of Global-is-Asian, a LKYSPP’s flagship digital content hub discussing policy issues and internal affairs from an Asian lens.
Covid-2019 And The Global Response
The outbreak of a novel coronavirus, termed Covid-2019, has raised significant concerns around the capabilities of global health governance. Though Singapore boasts a robust healthcare system built to tackle the challenges that come with Covid-2019, the lack of information on the virus continues to challenge global health governance.
The podcast discusses several issues surrounding the outbreak of the coronavirus. The outbreak began in Hubei, China and had slowly engulfed the rest of the world in a matter of months. Delving deeper, Pangestu shares how governance challenges in the global health system circle around the uncertainties that come with a novel virus. Given its status, it is safe to assume that new information is still being uncovered as health professionals scramble to find an effective treatment for it. The podcast also considers the probabilities of successful vaccine development and the timeframe it would take to successfully roll it out to affected countries.
Pangestu also shares that complexities inherent in governance and command chains can make it difficult to make an accurate assessment of China’s initial response to the virus, despite public condemnation in the media.
World Health Organisation (WHO) And Its Role In The Outbreak
Declared a pandemic, the Covid-2019 situation continues to develop at an alarmingly fast rate, compelling global health governance to step up security measures to contain the spread of the virus and support the healthcare systems in their countries.
As the former Director of Research Policy and Cooperation at the WHO, Pangestu shares how the WHO is capable of convening power and mobilising countries to continue building international trust and solidarity during challenging times like these.
Far from facilitating emergency response, the WHO’s moral authority lends it the integral role of strengthening collective responsibility and providing accurate and reliable information in a time where misinformation is widespread. Pangestu reinforces the value of multilateralism adopted by governments globally when dealing with issues that affect all of humanity, such as the Covid-2019 situation.
Learn more about Asian’s Public Policy
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is an autonomous, professional graduate school of the National University of Singapore. Its mission is to educate and train policy-makers and leaders, with the objective of raising the standards of governance throughout the region, improving the lives of its people, and, in so doing, contributing to the transformation of Asia and beyond. In addition to Public Policy Masters and PhD programmes, the LKYSPP offers high quality customised Executive Programmes that cater to the needs of time-constrained senior managers and professionals, with the aim of delivering creative solutions to real management and leadership challenges.
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