Pandemic FAIL: Global leaders determine the world is unprepared for a global outbreak after multiple simulations reveal outdated communications infrastructure

Monday, November 6, 2017
By Paul Martin

by: Russel Davis
Sunday, November 05, 2017

A recently concluded simulation held at the World Bank’s annual meeting has revealed that the world remains unprepared for another wave of an inevitable pandemic. As part of the simulation, ministers from 12 countries as well as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discussed the global approach to a realistic scenario involving a hypothetical pandemic crossing borders.

The simulation involves a hypothetical Instagram post about a cruise ship worker contracting a deadly disease. The ministers are then instructed to react to the Instagram post by coordinating with other key figures in other departments and countries. The ministers have also been tasked to make public service announcements in order to protect the public and mitigate the threat. According to the experts, the simulation serves as an attempt to explain why the global response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak had been subpar. The simulation also aims to identify the loop holes in pandemic preparation before another outbreak sets in, the scientists add.

The results have revealed that government agencies have limited knowledge of non-traditional communication methods such as social media and WhatsApp to speed up information dissemination. Likewise, government agencies appeared to have stuck to sporadic updates rather than go for constant, up-to-the-minute updates regardless of the time of day. The findings have also shown that information is being stymied across nations due to fears of losing tourism value. (Related: A global pandemic has a 50 percent chance of wiping out human civilization, reveals online odds firm.)

“We’re frankly not ready for a medium-sized one. The threat is still out there. We still are not ready for the big one. Government officials need to be more in sync with [information from unofficial channels] and adjust to that. I think the exercise clearly flagged that, and the ministers and others really focused on that,” Ron Klain, the United States Ebola czar during the pandemic, has stated in a Washington Post report.

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