Why governments must prepare for pandemics

By Ifeanyi M. Nsofor

Covid-19 cases are rising nearly everywhere in the world, the World Health Organization reports.

The rise is mostly driven by the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, showing that the pandemic is changing but not over. It is clear that the global community would still feel more financial, social and health consequences of the pandemic. The end is not in sight.

In Nigeria, COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on lives, economies, livelihoods and healthcare. The pandemic has killed at least 3,144.

According to the World Bank, the early part of the pandemic pushed Nigeria into its deepest recession since the 1980s, affecting mostly services and industry.

The economy recovered in later stages of the pandemic. However, inflation accelerated, especially for food items that the poor and vulnerable consume. The major lessons from the pandemic include the importance of epidemic preparedness and ensuring that response activities are multisectoral.

This op-Ed was originally posted on The Guardian on July 14, 2022.