Having captivated the entire Globe for the last 18 months, COVID-19 keeps teaching important lessons to humanity who seemed to have forgotten the devastating effects of contagious diseases. Perhaps the most important of these is that epidemics influence every aspect of life to a great deal. As we have closely witnessed during COVID-19, pandemics do not only cause medical burden but also bring about social, economic, political and psychological problems. Therefore, a pure medical perspective such as studying the preventive measures, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease is never sufficient, although necessary and beneficial by all means. When it comes to a pandemic, it is not a battle against the disease only. It is a fight against incorrect information and prejudice as well as economic impact, the outcomes in every field of social life and psychological effects of the disease. Therefore, destructive consequences may be precluded through an integrative approach lead by the individuals and institutions with administrative roles and include the participation and support of all layers of the community.
World Pandemic Congress organized by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality is a fine example for this approach. This meeting will not only contribute to the accumulation of knowledge on better management of the pandemic in our country but also prove the importance of the entire society clustered around it.
We, Turkish Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (KLİMİK), believe that this congress will make a great contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and set a precedent for how future epidemics need to be handled.
We would like to express our gratitude to the organizers and contributors of this congress and in particular to İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.
Prof. Alpay AZAP, MD
Turkish Society of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (President)