The inevitability of pandemics: is Asia Pacific prepared? Take-aways from the virtual event held on 12 November 2020

This webinar hosted by Singapore Press Club and supported by Roche Diagnostics addressed the question about pandemics. COVID-19 is not the first pandemic the world has seen, and it certainly won’t be the last. But it has once again laid bare inherent weaknesses in the world’s infectious disease surveillance and response capabilities. Correcting these weaknesses will be no small task. Significant efforts have been made to navigate the current crisis, but without a long-term view on the management of infectious diseases, the strategies of today may not do much to prevent future epidemics and pandemics.  Renowned academics, clinicians and health economic experts from around the region participated in a 90 minutes discussion about the way forward, and what it will take for Asia Pacific to be prepared for when, not if, the next pandemic strikes. Being a virtual forum, we were able to get over 50 sign ups, mainly journalists from around the region’s 27 media titles. Attendees were from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Hong Kong. 

Zakir Hussain, Vice President Singapore Press Club & Singapore Editor, The Straits Times made a welcome address to the attendees with a simple message that “the pandemic has highlighted the need for collaboration and partnership across society, including media organisations and this event is testament to that.”

A big thanks to our SPC member Ms Shefali Rekhi, Asian Insider Editor, The Straits Times & Asia News Network Editor, for doing a great job in moderating the 3 sessions with the 10 panellists experts from the region in the healthcare sector, including a doctor who had the Covid19 and recovered.  After the session, Shefali commented that “the topic of infectious diseases is very timely, and as media we need to build and continue on such discussions to raise better awareness and provide accurate information”.

Click below image to watch a round up and recordings of the event

Read more information from the speakers from the Dia:gram magazine. Click image to download