Health expert: We need to be prepared for a new pandemic

Health expert: We need to be prepared for a new pandemic
Health expert: We need to be prepared for a new pandemic

"As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes manageable, the government should start preparing for the next pandemic," said Zaza Tsereteli, one of the authors of the Health program party For Justice.

Adviser to the Ministry of Health of the Scandinavian and Baltic States offers the Georgian government a multi-point plan. According to him, a strong legal framework should be established, which can be activated in case of a pandemic, and the health system should receive assistance during an epidemic. According to the expert, it is necessary to increase the laboratory capacity so that other regions can carry the burden of diagnostics and testing in addition to the Lugar laboratory.

"The speed and effectiveness of the response during the first days and weeks of a pandemic are critical.

The government should work on the development of a guide that will include examples of different situation management, which can be updated with new information, both from Georgia and other countries and which can be used when a new pandemic starts.

The use of technology is essential: the government should help the development of the necessary technologies to detect and track infected cases, enforce quarantine measures, and disseminate information.

Risk communication - Real-time exchange of information and advice between government officials, experts, and people at risk.

The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the population's mental well-being and increased fear and anxiety. Psychological complications include anxiety and fear associated with infection, as well as isolation, loneliness, depression, excessive consumption of alcohol, and psychoactive substances caused by quarantine measures. The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious challenge for both community mental health services and inpatient psychiatric services. It is necessary to take effective steps to strengthen these services and prepare them to overcome the post-pandemic mental crisis," said health expert Zaza Tsereteli.

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