Don’t underestimate pandemics in global community

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The Myanmar Buddhist society acknowledges three significant calamities: famine, war, and epidemic diseases, all of which profoundly impact living beings, particularly humans, and pose significant obstacles to social and economic progress. To some extent, complete avoidance remains elusive despite humans’ ability to mitigate the effects of these disasters.

The history of human society shows the outbreak of a number of pandemics in successive eras. Millions of global people lost their lives and property, as well as ruins of families. But humans strived to seek ways to control the infection of pandemics so as to save their lives. As infectious diseases can break out anywhere, all global countries must comprehensively understand the important role of international cooperation in responding to and preventing infectious pandemics.

Various global catastrophes have adversely affected humanity, causing tragic social and economic development disruptions. Unfortunately, some nations have failed to learn crucial lessons from previous outbreaks, such as SARS, avian influenza, Zika, Ebola, and other highly infectious diseases. For countries grappling with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to invest more in disease prevention, virus research, and swift response mechanisms.
Throughout history, numerous pandemics, claiming millions of lives globally, have originated from animal-borne diseases and viruses, ranging from viruses and bacteria to parasites. These diseases have spread worldwide through direct or indirect contact with animals and carrier species. Vigilance against pandemics and infectious viruses is essential for timely responses and preventive measures.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Variant strains of the virus swiftly infected individuals, resulting in a significant loss of lives. In 2021 alone, the pandemic claimed 3.5 million lives worldwide. Although the WHO, on 5 May 2023, declared that COVID-19 no longer posed a global public health emergency, its variant viruses continue to spread globally.
As of 23 December 2023, a new variant, JN-1, of the COVID-19 virus has been identified in Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The virus has infected individuals in 41 countries, as reported by international media. The ongoing discovery of new variants emphasizes the need for sustained global efforts in monitoring, preventing, and responding to the evolving landscape of infectious diseases.
The global community must not underestimate the potential impact of pandemics. Learning from past experiences and actively investing in prevention, research, and response mechanisms is crucial for mitigating the devastating consequences of infectious diseases on human societies and global development.
The history of human society shows the outbreak of a number of pandemics in successive eras. Millions of global people lost their lives and property, as well as ruins of families. But humans strived to seek ways to control the infection of pandemics so as to save their lives. As infectious diseases can break out anywhere, all global countries must comprehensively understand the important role of international cooperation in responding to and preventing infectious pandemics.

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