Global leaders simulated the ‘inevitable’ pandemic set to hit the world – and concluded we are not ready at all

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
By Paul Martin

World leaders have conducted four simulated pandemics in the last year
The last one, at the World Bank this month, involved ministers from 12 countries
They spent 90 minutes responding to a ‘live, realistic’ scenario of an outbreak
Insiders said the simulation showed agencies do not know how to use ‘non-conventional’ methods of communication as well as the general public

By MIA DE GRAAF
DAILYMAIL.COM24 October 2017

The world is not ready for an ‘inevitable’ pandemic, according to the World Bank after simulating four global outbreaks.

In a series of 90-minute sessions, ministers from 12 countries as well as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tackled ‘realistic’ hypothetical scenarios of a deadly disease crossing borders, tracking news and social media.

It is an attempt to assess why the global response to 2014’s Ebola outbreak was so sloppy, and to fill those gaps before another disaster strikes.

But senior figures involved in the simulations have told the Washington Post we are not ready.

One of the biggest flaws, experts said, is an outdated approach to social media, and the fact that agencies are not accustomed – or not eager – to embrace a culture of publishing information and updates in real time as the general public does.

‘We’re frankly not ready for a medium-sized [pandemic],’ Ron Klain, President Obama’s chief of staff who acted as the Ebola czar during the epidemic three years ago, told the newspaper, when asked if we could handle a global one.

Tim Evans, senior director for health, nutrition and population at the World Bank, agreed with Klain, adding: ‘We realized that people were just making it up as they were going along, including us.’

But he warned that the bank is trying to ‘prepare much more systematically to be ready for the 100 percent probability we will be dealing with this again. Probably sooner than we expect.’

The issues are so far-reaching it is hard to pinpoint specific targets, experts said.

However, chief among them is an outdated approach to social media.

The Rest…HERE

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