As an epidemiologist, Gerard has designed and implemented humanitarian health programme responses in over 20 countries and led multi-disciplinary technical teams respond to complex humanitarian crises in Asia and Africa. He is presently researching approaches to reduce global mortality from natural hazard disasters with the School of Medicine and School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University in Melbourne.
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While targeted disease control interventions for diagnosing symptomatic cases, contact tracing and follow-up, and limiting socialisation have proven very successful at containing spread, now is the time to transition our national strategy toward a bespoke flexible and sustainable COVID-19 disease control plan.
If the humanitarian system attempts to respond to any event during this pandemic using historical constructs, we will cause more harm than good.