[NEWS IN-DEPTH] Why Global Governance of Disease Matters in Time … (Prof. An Junseong)

[NEWS IN-DEPTH] Why Global Governance of Disease Matters in Time … (Prof. An Junseong)

now outbreaks are inevitable whether
they become pandemics of the uncontrolled spread of contagious
diseases across countries and continents depends on our response pandemics have
always depended upon fast travel networks and dense populations
once relatively unusual now a global norm from nairobi to
jakarta the ongoing coronavirus epidemic or
coven 19 poses a single series challenge to the entire
world that requires countries and communities to come together to end this
outbreak the global governance of disease in time
for the emergence of cover 19. the topic of our news in depth tonight
with professor anjin seong of the graduate school of international
studies at ian’s a university professor and welcome to the program
thank you now when a new infectious disease begins to spread decisions on
how to stop it are based on patchy data that changed by the hour first now
some experts have coined a term on this um
for this phase as a fog of war health officials have to make decisions
very quickly and with uncertain information now during this
phase is there a global governance of disease
protocol that countries should abide by yes
the answer to the question is yes and no and it says yes because there is an
international treaty which is governed you know to prevent international spread
of the disease and it is international health
regulations ihr and it was last modified in 2005 after
the outbreak of sars but however the answer is also no
because you know just like the other international treaties
it’s not legally binding it means that you cannot make any
state party to do you know something or not to do something
you can’t hold it accountable for not doing well it’s not
it’s more like enforcement is it enforceable you see
but they don’t have an uh effective enforcement mechanism so they can make a
recommendation like a device non-binding or device to
the state parties but they do not have to follow it
because it’s not really enforced right now china has quarantined well
over 100 million people by now door-to-door searches for
suspect cases are um our warehouse and people in
makeshift quarantine camps um how is china abiding by the protocol
in your view well i mean it is uh
first of all it is very unprecedented case you know some country
locked down entire city although it was epicenter of the you know
the coronal virus right but still it’s very unprecedented case
and if you look think about the international regulation international
health regulation is about international traffic
right so it is a domestic measure has your health care measures so
well the question is can we apply that rule to innovation law to the domestic
measure that’s the one question but although we are planning it preceded
article 2 of international health regulations
and there is that you the state members should not
uh avoid uh uh should avoid unnecessary interference with international trade
and traffic so in terms of that article two and
possibly they could have violated their article but
when you proceed the totality of circumstances you know see that the epic
center of the disease and the many you know casualty happens so
the government science government have can exercise discretion to you know take
some necessary measures so if they believe and wto agree that it is
necessary measure there will be a wouldn’t be any problem
now while this new health emergency bears the hallmarks of past outbreaks
the truth is of the world today is is a very different place than you
know than it was in 2002 or 2003 when
when the world was gripped by sars of course uh how should the rest of the
world respond as a threat mounts that this
virus will go global yeah i think that i remember the srs
case i mean the i was in u.s and i was reading news from
what happened in hong kong you know restaurant
apartment happens it’s very similar case actually i see that
i watch some other news you know global uses about what happened in stars
not only in korea i mean if you see that china and hong kong and singapore and
very similar things happens the problem is that the main problem in
this case is that we do not know we don’t have much information about
about what is the virus that’s the problem so we don’t even know what is
the airborne or is it uh transferred by
through the air or not i’m just some debate still there
so that’s i think that’s really problem and also we need to develop the faction
or some other you know measures to deal with the community
transfer i mean transmission as well so that’s problem is that we do not have
information at this moment and that’s the really critical you know fact
factor right this case right i mean this virus like other highly
infectious serious diseases in a highly mobile
population spreads across geopolitical boundaries and requires multi-sectoral
coordination and collaboration in order to effectively i i suppose
respond and mitigate the consequences of the outbreak it certainly um it
underscores the global health governance if you will and it’s
critical in saving lives is it not well i mean as we
discussed earlier today i mean the international
treaty i mean the one international health regulation or other you know
international treaties it doesn’t have a really the effective
you know in-person mechanism also if we actually look at the text of
ihr the there’s not much mandatory
requirement on this the text so one of the requirements uh
mandatory requirement is that the who require
the state party to report about the current status about accuracy
and the question is that whether the data is an accuracy of data
and we have some problem with chinese government the data they’re providing to
who is somehow some there’s some problem with
that right systemic problem so there was the things while in from
the international level the the what what international
coordination would be the information sharing and reporting in requirement to
that so accuracy i think that’s the minimum issue
i mean there’s also the like you said there’s a problem of verification
is i mean particularly with north korea as well right now north korea has not
reported a single case of the coronavirus
some experts um are highly suspicious of that report that’s been reported to
the who so that’s there’s a problem of
verification now the rapid and robust responses launched by many
governments have played a key part in the
i guess relatively low number of confirmed cases
outside of china of this coven 19 relative to china that is some countries
have placed a temporary ban on entry ban on travelers from
china of course south korea has not would they not conflict with their
bilateral relations with china well there’s uh with a tough question
actually uh it’s multilaterally internationally
international perspective you know we talk about the
international treaties i mean it’s not uh it’s a mandatory requirement so you
you have you know each state member has the discretion to
whatever necessary as soon as it is necessary right
and the question is the judgment call by wt and the stamp member
and however if you see that the i mean the i think main concern about this
international spread of disease is about the trust issue you know can you trust
your government well you know do you oh the same
question can you trust wto and are you sure i think there was some
news breaking news about what happened was that
wto cruise did not go to one yeah i’m sorry
so double h did not go actually go to that side right so i’m not sure where is
it true but i mean that’s a very serious issue right
you know you know why do we need who because we know check
out what was the truth about what happened in the site right the epic
center so i there’s no trust issue about the
same thing government to trust government to choose international
government that’s the question and then i think we have to
build trust you know not only the local government also international
governments such as the whole right the
world health organization a few weeks ago declared that the kobe 19
constitutes a public health emergency of international
concern so what has changed since then yeah actually it
gives the international uh health regulation and they actually
define it about public health emergency international concern
and why do we need that specific term because that if you have public health
emergency of international concern who may take
the uh recommendation actually temporary measures right
temporary recommendation or however as we discussed earlier today
is only recommendations right so it’s not really binding you cannot make the
other you know country to do whatever they said so that’s the
problem here so once they declare uh the uh you know public
uh health emergency they can take follow-up action
which is the recommended tempo recommendation but
uh yeah and but you know especially international most
most like international you know treaties sometimes very
not specific you know they just talk about frames how you cooperate
international cooperation but it doesn’t really give you specifics how to deal
with some situations though right another huge case of covenanting
infections outside of mainland china of course is the diamond princess cruise
line or moored off japan with well over 500 cases confirmed
including death from that ship the japanese
government has been under a lot of criticism
for for poor handling of that of that situation
how should it have been handled and and how should it be handled from here on
out yeah i actually followed with the uh
yokohama case actually the uh you know diet diamond princess
princess oh it’s princess right and i think my concern is i actually
watched the cnn news just before i came and they
they had an interview with the americans who uh you know
got out of that you know the ship right and then the
anchor woman was talking about the actually the problem is that
same thing with korea and japan the media was focusing on the incubation
period instead of 14 you know 14 days you know every time but
now i think you need to talk uh focus maybe you move our
the focus on the uh the survivability of the
you know the virus because that according to some uh report
uh the virus can survive uh minimum two hours maximum nine days
at the uh you know the uh normal room temperature
so there’s no outside of the body yeah okay possibly but there’s
some uh some report came up so i’m thinking about the yokohama case i mean
diamond princess case uh ship cases that maybe perhaps they have some problem
with the cleaning up the area i mean because that they they just concerned
about incubation 14 days 14 days right but
but they maybe didn’t put you know focus on the
you know survivability of the virus how can survive out you know
outside the body right right so definitely it’s something that um
needs more investigation into so that it will not be repeated
next time uh when there is a breakout like such
now in the last few days the coven 19 outbreak here in south korea of course
has taken a drastic turn the nation now faces a community-based
transmission now i would assume that the government
has to draw up something new and implement new measures now that we have
we’re faced with a new phase yeah it’s very concerning you know just
as i got into this studio it’s over 100 right that’s very concerning
because i look it up the u.s uh cdc uh the data i mean their website they
have the you know travel advisory and japan was yesterday so yesterday
japan become level one you know you have to put a precaution
you know country and i i i’m afraid that korea might be tomorrow
maybe korean next one you know the level one
um and then there’s very concern it’s a new measure it’s
since now it’s a community-based uh transmission stage
so we need to check and you know the old possibility now
before that or if you want to get some tests you have to show them prove that i
went to the overseas you know some areas some in you know area
conscious area but now we have to change our approach
saying that any possible you know respiratory you know symptoms
should be considered an impossibility for the
you know virus now um since that we are now faced with
a community-based transmission phase i want to talk a
little bit about the schools because we now know that the
schools in the city of tegu where a huge number
of infections have been confirmed within
the last 24 to 36 hours the schools have been the spring term
has been postponed by a week now i know
universities they were advised to delay the opening
of the schools your school you were telling me uh you
delayed the opening by two weeks and now you’re advised that
you can even teach online uh
yeah actually the uh today i receive email from the
school saying that you could have up if necessary you can have online
you know lecture limited case it’s not means that we have entire
you know semester online but that means that if necessary you could do it
actually i have a kind of a relatively big class
and i have you know several chinese stuff too but but i
but at this moment i think that now we know that there’s a
you know community-based transmission is kind of coming up
like that the more complication because that maybe it doesn’t matter where
you’re from now because those community bases i think i i’m more concerned
about the community-based transmission because that the international
travelers is easier to control it you can tag your passport you can check that
you know your you know you know you know your airline
tickets right it’s much easier but once it’s committed
basis it’s very difficult to chase it like you know whatever integral and
there’s one thousand people get together and
any one super spreader came up that means there could be
500 600 you don’t know right that’s very it’s more even concerning that so
i’m very concerned about the how we class you know how we do conduct
classroom activity because that you know there’s a
possibility anyone can be you know get next victim so that’s right right right
so without doubt this will prove to be a test that
will underscore not only the importance of global
governance but also of public awareness and public
cooperation and not only practicing i suppose you
know individual etiquettes but also in cooperating with
health authorities in um and i guess um you know in
tracking where you’ve been and how you’ve been behaving in
in in your lifetime i suppose all right uh professor anjin sung of graduate
school of international studies at unc university
many thanks for your insights today my pleasure thank you

1 thought on “[NEWS IN-DEPTH] Why Global Governance of Disease Matters in Time … (Prof. An Junseong)”

  1. Y'all have to stop playing the blame game. Yes, we all know now it started in China and we can all see the government is doing all there is to contain it's spread elsewhere. Have sympathy for the work-force (Doctors, nurses, army, sanitary workers and many more) who have to take great risk disinfecting their place (street, town, city, country). Instead of criticizing them, we all should give them more encouragement and praises and help them out in battling this epidemic. There are many cases of disasters where government officials had delayed information to the public. Now, thanks to new technologies and the internet; people around the world can have faster access to every happenings everywhere almost instantly. Just imagine without these new technologies, so stop for a moment and think with wisdom. My prayers to all in China and other countries affected. May God bless them

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