The coronavirus outbreak is only the latest in a long series of wakeup calls over the past few decades for the global health community. Once again, a high consequence pathogen, likely incubated in nature, infected humans, and overwhelmed health care systems before the medical community could figure out how to contain it. As of the time of this writing, more than 78,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases and nearly 2,500 deaths have been reported.
The coronavirus outbreakand other contagions that will inevitably followcan be controlled. But it will take planning, collaboration, and a comprehensive, systemic approach. A truly effective health-emergency response system will require continuous vigilance and improvement in the capacity to rapidly identify and understand novel pathogens; develop diagnostics, vaccines and other countermeasures; and distribute necessary medicines, medical supplies, health professionals, and timely public information.
About the Authors
Priya Chandran is a managing director and senior partner in the New Jersey office of Boston Consulting Group and leader of the Health Care Systems sector. You may contact her by e-mail at email@example.com.
Vincent Chin is a managing director and senior partner in the Singapore office of Boston Consulting Group and global leader of the Public Sector practice. You may contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Chan Harjivan is a managing director and partner in the firms Washington DC office with a focus on health security. You may contact him by email at email@example.com.
Martin Reeves is a managing director and senior partner in the firms San Francisco office and chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, BCGs think tank on new approaches to strategy and management. You may contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yvonne Zhou is a managing director and partner in the firms Beijing office. She leads the firms Public Sector practice in Greater China and is a leader in its real estate and city development sectors. You may contact her by email at email@example.com.