Iranian researchers warn of ‘Covi-Flu’ effect on global economy, sustainable development

April 22, 2020 - 19:37

TEHRAN – The dangers of co-infection of Covid-19 and influenza A “Covi-Flu” to the global economy and sustainable development is closer and more devastating than it might look, according to an essay by Iranian researchers published by British Medical Journal.

Amirhossein Takian, Mohsen Aarabi, and Hajar Haghighi analyzed COVID-19’s effect on the global economy and what it means for the sustainable development agenda and universal health coverage, which was published on April 20.

“As the global coordinator of the current pandemic, WHO should, now more than ever, strengthen its mission to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable, through advocating universal health coverage among its member states. Specific treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19 seem at least one year away.

In a few months, when the flu hits, many nations face co-infection of COVID-19 and influenza A “Covi-Flu”, having to deal with the impact of seasonal influenza at the same time as the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Strengthening communities with surveillance systems built into primary health care; providing extra financial resources; expanding insurance coverage; increasing public awareness; ensuring sufficient medicines, diagnostics and equipment are available, and recruiting more healthcare staff are the essential steps towards universal health coverage needed in many countries over the next few months to prepare for Covi-Flu. 

Most importantly better governmental stewardship for creating strong and resilient health systems is required, a whole-of-government approach that must target all social determinants of health, and emergency investment in healthcare research and innovation.
We are all in this together and need to act now. The dangers of “Covi-Flu” to the global economy and sustainable development is closer and more devastating than it might look,” according to the essay.

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