The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility and vulnerability of urban systems and populations across the world. Yet while the infection is the focus of attention, the chronic noncommunicable diseases that affect large and increasing parts of urban populations create significant underlying vulnerability and augment the damaging consequences of COVID-19. People with noncommunicable diseases are experiencing the greatest mortality, hospitalization, and intensive care requirement, whereas protection, prevention and reduction measures are underdeveloped and insufficient. The COVID-19 experience in cities globally has highlighted specific needs and gaps, as well as opportunities to ‘future-proof’ cities against the additional vulnerability of noncommunicable diseases.
Addressing chronic noncommunicable diseases is essential to strengthen urban resilience to communicable pandemic diseases