Health, Economic and Social Development Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Strategies for Multiple and Interconnected Issues

Panneer, Sigamani, Kantamaneni, Komali orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3852-4374, Palaniswamy, Udhayakumar, Bhat, Lekha, Pushparaj, Robert Ramesh Babu, Nayar, Kesavan Rajasekharan, Soundari Manuel, Hilaria, Flower, F. X. Lovelina Little and Rice, Louis (2022) Health, Economic and Social Development Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Strategies for Multiple and Interconnected Issues. Healthcare, 10 (5). e770.

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The COVID-19-pandemic-related economic and social crises are leading to huge challenges for all spheres of human life across the globe. Various challenges highlighted by this pandemic include, but are not limited to, the need for global health cooperation and security, better crisis management, coordinated funding in public health emergencies, and access to measures related to prevention, treatment and control. This systematic review explores health, economic and social development issues in a COVID-19 pandemic context and aftermath. Accordingly, a methodology that focuses on identifying relevant literature with a focus on meta-analysis is used. A protocol with inclusion and exclusion criteria was developed, with articles from 15 December 2019 to 15 March 2022 included in the study. This was followed by a review and data analysis. The research results reveal that non-pharmaceutical measures like social distancing, lockdown and quarantine have created long-term impacts on issues such as changes in production and consumption patterns, market crashes resulting in the closure of business operations, and the slowing down of the economy. COVID-19 has exposed huge health inequalities across most countries due to social stratification and unequal distribution of wealth and/or resources. People from lower socio-economic backgrounds lack access to essential healthcare services during this critical time for both COVID-19 and other non-COVID ailments. The review shows that there is minimal literature available with evidence and empirical backup; similarly, data/studies from all countries/regions are not available. We propose that there is a need to conduct empirical research employing a trans-disciplinary approach to develop the most effective and efficient strategies to combat the pandemic and its aftermath. There is a need to explore the social and ecological determinants of this contagious infection and develop strategies for the prevention and control of COVID-19 or similar infections in future.

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