Reflection of challenges and opportunities within the covid-19 pandemic to include biological hazards into drr planning

Emily Ying Yang Chan, Caroline Dubois, Ada Ho Yin Fong, Rajib Shaw, Ranit Chatterjee, Ambika Dabral, Antonia Loyzaga, Yong Kyun Kim, Kevin Kei Ching Hung, Chi Shing Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 has reinforced the need to revisit the integration of health within disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies for biological hazards in a system-wide approach. In November 2020, DRR experts attended the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction (APP-DRR) Forum to share progress and learnings in the areas of health system resilience, data management, residual risk management, risk communication, digital literacy, and knowledge product marketing. Advancements for health in DRR included the importance of multi-sectoral, multi-hazard action plans; adaptation to technological advancements in data collection, dissemination and protection; promoting the health and wellbeing of essential and nonprofessional workers; and improving inclusivity in digital literacy. COVID-19 has affected progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and created a unique opportunity within DRR to re-evaluate the adequacy of response mechanisms against concurrent, cascading or interacting risks of future biological hazards. Health emergency disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) is a new World Health Organization paradigm that includes DRR at intra-, inter-and multidisciplinary levels. Scientific advancement under Health-EDRM is necessary for health and non-health actors in DRR education and research. Continuous education on the multifaceted risk governance is a key to building awareness, capacity and accelerating towards achieving the international DRR and the SDG targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1614
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 2


  • Biological hazards
  • COVID-19, pandemic
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Health-EDRM
  • Sendai Framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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