The outbreak of Covid-19 has reminded us that pandemics are also natural disasters, although much more threatening. They are universal, affecting all human activities everywhere and individual human behavior plays a decisive role in their spread. The humanitarian and economic crises they cause must make us more aware than ever of the need to invest in their prevention.
Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Covid-19 has worsened their situation and added uncertainty to their future. At the height of the health crisis, those displaced by floods, droughts and pests are added to those fleeing violence and wars that have not diminished during the pandemic. Many of these conflicts seem to have been temporarily forgotten. It is time to remember them.
Covid-19 has led to the closure of educational activities. But the Internet has allowed rich countries to soften the impact. In poorer countries, with a more vulnerable educational system, this has not been possible. Mankind urgently needs to close the digital gap to maintain educational development. This is borne out by the testimony of those who are fighting for access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
The coronavirus has caused a global health crisis, which should help us to deal more effectively and efficiently with other serious diseases that plague the world. The fight against pandemics such as malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis must not be stopped, but must lead us to share knowledge and efforts.
Endemic water-borne diseases kill more than 10,000 children in India each year. COVID-19 now threatens a health system that has proved powerless to cover the 1.3 billion inhabitants of the second most populated country on Earth. The lack of sanitation and hydric stress are factors that increase the risks of the pandemic.
Epidemics and pandemics have marked African history. COVID-19 arrives in the continent overlapping with other endemic diseases, serious medical deficiencies and unmet goals in the access to water and sanitation. The African population is well aware of the power of community spirit. It is their most powerful weapon in the fight against the pandemic and we can all learn from it.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unavoidable crisis that threatens the health and work of each one of us. It is a disaster that compromises the attainment of the SDGs, affecting us all. Evolving from an individual perspective to a collective intelligence is what will allow us to overcome it. And we need to do it now, the virus leaves us no margin in terms of time.
The health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of handwashing with soap and water as one of the keys to halting the spread of the disease. However, only three out of five people all around the world have basic facilities for this elementary standard of hygiene. Deaths from failure to do so amount to hundreds of people every day, most of them children.
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