The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed the close link between health and disaster risk reduction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital connectivity and transformation to mitigate the impact of economic slowdown, sustain well-being, and speed up e-resilience readiness, and build back better. Social distancing has generated higher demand for fast and reliable broadband connectivity to support the growing information flows.
As the novel coronavirus has undertaken its deadly migration across the globe, most attention has understandably focused on its immediate public health consequences, as well as the downstream economic consequences of the lockdown measures needed to contain it.
A less remarked development, however, has been the changes to everyday life that have resulted from the contagion. In particular, a new report reveals the extent to which COVID-19 has driven a dramatic uptake of digital technologies across Southeast Asia, accelerating a profound shift that was already underway.
In Asia and the Pacific, the impact of COVID-19 has been tremendous due to the high concentration of people, economic activities and resource consumption. Coronavirus threatens economic, social and medical well-being of millions and we must act now to protect Asia's most vulnerable Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP’s Executive Secretary wrote in the Nikkei Asian Review on the 2nd of April.