ICPS Special Briefing Series on COVID-19

26th March 2020, London, UK

ICPS Special Briefing On COVID19: A Weekly Webinar Series

Our ICPS Special Briefings on COVID-19 will provide a unique resource, taking place weekly as a series of webinars. It offers an opportunity for practitioners, civil servants and other key stakeholders to examine the resilience of the current framework for pandemic preparedness and explore key actions that need to be taken. The series will allow attendees to assess how well their organisation and local area is prepared and develop strategies to improve.


In a timeline that reaches the present day, an epidemic of unexplainable cases was first reported to the WHO Country Office in China, in December, 2019. The epidemic is now pandemic, and the unexplained cases have been attributed to COVID-19, a novel strain of coronavirus with an estimated mortality rate worldwide of 3.4%.

Viral diseases continue to emerge and represent a serious issue to public health, and in the last twenty years several viral epidemics have been recorded - as Anna Schuchat, Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, expresses it’s not a question of if but when.

The likelihood of pandemics has increased over the past century because of increased global travel and integration, urbanization, changes in land use, and greater exploitation of the natural environment, the International community has made progress towards preparing for and mitigating the impacts of pandemics.

Many uncertainties remain regarding both the virus-host interaction and the evolution of the pandemic, with specific reference to the times when the pandemic will reach its peak. With these questions unanswered, the potential scope of this health crisis is far greater than earlier ones.

The increasing reliance of businesses on technology, frequent and unrestricted travel, and far-reaching supply chains means that an outbreak in a single country can have global repercussions. The World Bank’s estimation of the cost of severe pandemics totals as much as 5% GDP.

In any crisis, leaders have two equally important responsibilities: solve the immediate issue and mitigate future outbreaks; the issue of saving lives is more pressing, nonetheless the policies, and measures we now develop, have crucial long-term consequences.


Join our expert special briefing sessions; gain an insight into the science and policy underpinning current UK decision making:

  1. The UK Approach to COVID-19

    On the surface UK policy has eschewed social distancing measures, spurning the mass closures that have become commonplace throughout the world, instead opting for behavioural nudges - gambling on a more restrained approach - reliant on coaxing and positive assertion.

    26th March 2020

  2. Impact on Global Supply Chain

    Understanding Government's thinking on bracing for a substantial loss in the commerical sector, the posing threat of food security due to a decline in agricultural production, and the burden of cross-border trade with restrictions on movement, goods, and services.

    2nd April 2020

  3. Finance: Risks, Impacts and Mitigation

    Explore the global repercussions of a pandemic, understanding how fiscal policy and central bank intervention can impact the market and discuss the future of insuring pandemic risk.

    9th April 2020

  4. Civic Challenges: Global Repercussions

    Discuss the contemporary threats of a pandemic with a key focus on domestic policy, and identify gaps in current policy provision.

    16th April 2020

  5. Civic Challenges: Domestic Policy

    Understanding how policy reacts to the needs of vulnerable groups within society, and how societal norms increase the prevalence of pandemics.

    23rd April 2020

  6. Public Health: The Capability of the National Health Service

    Gain an insight into prior pandemic planning, while discussing the control and resilience of the NHS, and discern the underpinning of future planning.

    30th April 2020