From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : COVID-19 Law Lab
Mains level : Health Policy measures against COVID-19
The UN agencies have started a portal called the COVID-19 Law Lab to host all recent legal enactments to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Note the following things about COVID-19 Law Lab:
1) It is an online portal and not a cubical laboratory
2) Parent agency includes the UN and WHO
3) It is the first collation of health-related laws and protocols of the countries
COVID-19 Law Lab
- This digital portal hosts all legal steps taken by 190 countries to fight the pandemic.
- The UNDP, the WHO, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University have collaborated for this initiative.
- The collation initiative aims at dissemination of procedures and practices for effective enactment of health-related laws.
- It is expected to be the most expansive collation of laws and procedures related to a health emergency.
Why need such a repository?
- The pandemic has led to confusion over treatment and management protocols.
- Some 220 countries/territories have enacted various procedures backed by various enabling laws related to epidemics and health emergency.
- Laws and policies that are grounded in science, evidence and human rights can enable people to access health services, protect themselves from COVID-19 and live free from stigma, discrimination and violence.
- Sharing medicines and formulae for even general treatment has been a big challenge due to restrictive laws and trade practices.
- As health is global, legal frameworks need to be aligned with international commitments to respond to current and emerging public health risks.