Accelerated spread of a disease to a high amount of people in each population within a short period of time is called communicable diseases. If these diseases have destructive effects, they are called as pandemics. . The probability of pandemics has raised over the past century as a result of the disappearance of borders due to globalization, urbanization, changes in land use, and larger exploitation of the natural atmosphere. At this point, COVID-19, one of the new China-based corona viruses that have appeared in the last months and spread to the world in a brief time, can be given as an example. All those pandemics poses a great danger to many people and animals and is a threat for ecological balance of the world. Societies that infected with pandemics use many ways to prevent the spread of such diseases and to get rid of them. The main reason is that most of the time, the number of people who died due to pandemic diseases can be more than the number of people who died due to war or natural disasters. Besides the threatening dimensions of the pandemics to individuals and animals, it is observed that the pandemics have also serious economic, social and cultural consequences on the countries .
While many studies unite that outbreaks will have a negative impact on national economies and the global economy, the cost of these pandemics may worsen if the number of people infected or mortality increases . When the infection rate increases to a significant level, governments’ health spending also must increase to control this problem. This situation creates a financial burden on countries’ budgets. On the other hand, there is always a lack of information about how these pandemic diseases spread and how bad they can be. This contributes to global uncertainty in the process and increases the concerns of companies and investors. In general, pandemic diseases that have emerged since 1970 have been affecting the global markets negatively over a period. As a result, there is a concern that economic growth will be limited due to the spread of the viruses .
In another aspect, it is obvious that pandemics lead to systemic risks for many countries. In other words, pandemics negatively affect companies in different sectors with their contamination effect. As a result, these companies are subject to serious losses. Due to the systemic risk created by the pandemic, companies face liquidity risk. This situation causes companies to fail to pay their short-term debts. After the emergence of systemic risk, the uncertainty in the market increases and this causes investors to be nervous. This problem leads to increased vulnerability in both financial markets and macroeconomics. Within this framework, in countries where there is a risk of spreading of these types of pandemic diseases, tourism, transportation, trade and services may be adversely affected due to lower customer demands .
Besides economic results, there is also a social aspect for pandemics. Protective and preventive applications taken in pandemics may have some social consequences. The social impacts of pandemics can be catastrophic. It can cause considerable losses in the total population and this can lead to fragmentation of families or societies. Furthermore, many pandemic diseases can have chronic effects in humans’ life such as panic attack due to fear, which can become more common in time. In the other hand, as it is seen in COVID-19 case, pandemics can have important social consequences, creating conflicts between states and citizens, harming state capacity, eroding social cohesion, and raising social tension and discrimination . It is very clear that pandemics have serious impacts on both economic and social aspects of life. For countries, in order to get affected as less as possible from these negativities, emphasis should be placed on factors that strengthen the fight against pandemics.
In today's global society, pandemic disease outbreaks can spread quickly all around the world. At this point, improving health sector can be very beneficial for countries to prevent pandemics to spread or to control after it is spread in the country. Taking into action certain activities may be very beneficial before they become a wider threat . The infrastructure of a country's health sector is at the core of pandemic prevention. Countries with improved health infrastructure can react more easily to a potential pandemic. Since such countries will have sufficient equipment and qualified health personnel, it becomes easier for them to control an outbreak in their country. In the other hand, countries with high technological infrastructure also get successful in the process of managing pandemics. The technological infrastructure in the health sector helps to make the tests on the pandemics more easily and at regular intervals, a better examination process with advanced technology equipment and to find the cure for some pandemics earlier and easier.
In the other aspect, population planning is one of the important points. For example, in the regions where the population is dense, the human interaction is also intense. Because of this situation, it can be said that they are at higher risk of pandemic diseases . For this reason, good population planning makes an important contribution to manage the pandemic disease prevention process. Besides population planning, people’s awareness towards social distance can be crucial at this point. Some societies choose a closer communication method among themselves, while others may be more distant. The cultural structure of the society in a country can shape the spread of the outbreak. When there is a destruction of social distance, it will be harder for countries to get success in pandemics. To manage this process successfully, some necessary steps have to be taken into account by countries.
As mentioned in general, producing specific strategies on the topic of pandemics is of great importance for both people and countries. For this reason, it will be very useful to create an order of importance when creating these strategies. The method to be used in this context is also of great importance. Econometric methods can be very helpful to make necessary prediction for the future of the problem. However, the main drawback of these approaches is that non-numerical data cannot be considered in the analysis process . For this reason, the appropriateness of these methods is questioned . Therefore, it would be more accurate to use different methods that also include non-numerical data to provide more appropriate recommendations. At this point, multi-criteria decision-making methods (MCDM) make it possible to examine both numerical and non-numerical data. For this reason, these methods have been used quite frequently in the literature especially in recent years within the framework of fuzzy logic. Thus, the complexities and uncertainties in the decision-making process can be reduced .
The aim of this study is to investigate which factors are more effective in strengthening countries' struggle with pandemics. In this context, as a first step, with the help of literature scanning 8 different factors that can have impact on that managing process are identified in two dimensions. Later, an analyze is conducted with IVIF DEMATEL method to determine the order of importance of factors. This approach has many advantages in comparison with the similar ones. For instance, the causality relationship can be conducted with this method because impact-relation map can be generated [12, 13]. On the other side, uncertainty and ambiguity in decision-making process can be coped with more effectively with the help IVIF methodology .
At this point, many different advantages of this study can be mentioned. As a first, by presenting the weighted factors, it will be possible to identify which factors are more important to manage pandemics for countries. This can help academicians in their future works and can be very beneficial for countries to take appropriate precautions. This may also contribute to the reduction of effects of pandemics on countries. Since COVID-19 is most recent and severe virus, it will be possible to offer suggestions for these countries to better manage the process that are still going on and pave a way for preventing possible pandemic threats. Another important contribution of the study to the literature is methods that are used in the analysis process. IVIF DEMATEL method is considered for the first time in this study in the framework of the pandemics. It is thought that this situation increases the methodological novelty of the study.
This study contains 6 different sections. In the first section of the study, a general information about pandemics and their effects on social and economic areas are shared. Later, in the second part of the study, a brief history of COVID-19 and updated information are given. Furthermore, in the third section of the study, a literature review is conducted on factors that affect success of a country for managing pandemics. In addition, the fourth section of the study covers the theoretical knowledge of IVIF DEMATEL approach used in the analysis process. Moreover, in the fifth part of the study, the results of the analysis are covered. And finally, the sixth part of the study contains the strategy recommendations that developed according to the analysis results obtained.