As of April 18, 2020, Covid-19, designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), infected more than 2 million persons. This dramatic increase in the number of cases since the first reported case on December 31, 2019, sparked a range of responses from various public and private actors.
Over time, natural calamities and armed conflicts have demonstrated that human rights are often the first casualties of a crisis.
COVID-19 has disrupted the world as we know it with the declaration of national disaster, imposition of strict quarantines, and economic disruptions. In order to provide some context for the role of international law in public health emergencies, this Insight provides brief history of how the international community has created institutional governance to respond to global health pandemics.