Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic and its global impact

The entire world now has been facing a disastrous moment of COVID-19 which has been killing hundreds of thousand people in the world every day. An enormous loss in the human being and the entire economy of the world has been depicted due to the rapid outbreak of the virus. More than 100 countries have restricted travel from other country and locked their nations to break the chain of spreading of Corona Virus and for the protection of their people from this pandemic including Nepal, India, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other as the Corona Virus Diseases outbreak is in the rapid pace from the social contact from one person to another in the exponential rate. Government of Nepal has enforced nationwide lockdown since 24th March 2020 extending to April 27. Meanwhile, India has extended its lockdown till 3rd May 2020. United States has banned all 26 member nations of European Union to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The present situation of human loss due to Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Human being is the most precious assets of the world if they are properly utilized by the nation. Human beings are the pillar of building nations. Amidst them, doctor, nurse, pilot, security personnel, engineer, teacher and scientist are very important for the overall growth and development of nation especially in case of pandemic outbreak. The number of the deceased due to corona virus COVID-19 has tremendously grown in the USA and other countries. The total number of corona case was very high in Italy in the beginning when it was found was very scary. Now, the total cases and the total death in USA has tremendously increased to 564,317 and 22,850 respectively leading the highest number of cases and death cases amongst the nations of the world. The cases have been spread in such a rapid way that the half of the population will be collapsed due to this disease if the precaution is not taken properly. The pandemic now has the alarming increment in terms of infection proliferation and the death caused by the COVID-19. The role of such people is most important as they play vital role for the protection of the life of those infected people. They are born to help in the difficulties. However, the proper protective measures are mandatory for each of them. As there is a saying that give me a tool and I will perform my duty, necessary tools for medical personnel and to the people involved in the support to the mostly infected and people suffering from the impact of the diseases or the lockdown. The total cases have reached 1,882,306 whereas death has increased to 117,400 respectively by 13th April 2020, 14:15 GMT which was 580 and 17 respectively on 22 Jan 2020. The First case of Corona Virus was found on 17th Nov 2019 causing more than 3,300 people in China. It was spread in Italy, Spain, all over the world. As soon as the corona virus had spread in 114 countries causing the death of thousands of people, World Health Organization (WHO) had declared it as pandemic on 11th March 2020 and had initiated immediate action for combating of this pandemic. As it is a communicable pandemic ample precaution is must to be protected from such catastrophic diseases. It has been an alarming threat for the world. The western developed countries; USA, Italy, Iran, Australia, Europe etc. are well equipped with the modern technologies and sophisticated hospitals along with well-trained health personnel. However, they have been defeated by the Corona Virus (COVID-19) and lost their peoples’ lives in huge number indicating to brainstorm about the prevention and the mitigation of this pandemic situation of people in developing and underdeveloped countries from their respective government as the situation can be worse soon and the necessary action to be done for its prevention may be more serious in those countries. Impact and losses of human lives during 22nd Jan 2020 to 13th Apr 2020 shows the following status.

The status of total cases and the death case every day and every month has been increasing surprisingly threating to the people of the world.  The total cases and the death rate show the continued expansion of this pandemic all around the world. The death case has been 126,811 by April 15, 2020, 07:36 GMT from 2,443 on 22 February 2020.

As per a study of Oxford IECC, the total number of active case was 1,327,595 and around 4% out of them were in the serious case. 34% of people from total case had died in Italy due to this pandemic so far. In UK and Belgium, 13% each out of the total infected people have been killed by this monster. 10% in Spain, 4% in USA, 11% in Netherland, 4% in China, 6% in Iran and 2% in Germany had already died out of the total infected people. Such percentage seems to increase in future if proper care and preventive action will not be taken and if the guidelines of WHO is not followed properly. The rate of total death over total active case in Italy has slashed down to 13% by the 15 April,2020, April 15, 2020, 07:36 GMT from 30% on April 13, 2020, 16:10 GMT though the total cases has reached to 162,488 from 1,327,595 on April 13,2020.

World Economy impact of Covid-19

World Economy has been shut down due to the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) in almost two-third nations of the world. Land, air and sea travel for all, except for few allowed by the government are closed which has caused downfall in the demand and price of gasoline diesel and kerosene including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in almost all the oil producing countries causing the total price reduction movements in the world oil and gas market. Vehicle production companies, Maruti has cut its production by 32 per cent in India, likewise, Production of mini and compact segment cars, including Alto, S-Presso WagonR, Celerio, Ignis, Swift, Baleno and Dzire also have gone down to 31.33 percent. Chinese industrial production has been decreased to 13.5 percent. Car sell in china has fallen to -87 % as per BBC. Apple Inc.; an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, which deals with designing, developing, and selling of consumer electronics, computer software, and online services which is also considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Google, and Microsoft is not expecting to meet second-quarter financial target because production has been halted in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of products of Apple are manufactured and nearly 15% of its revenue is generated from China. Not only Apple Inc., almost all the industries in the world now will be severely impacted. According to the Bloomberg, Large retail corporations such as Starbucks and McDonald’s have shut stores in the country have largely and dried up the business. Widespread damages is seen to shrink; in Germany 7.6%, Italy 8.8%, Spain 10%, and the U.K. near 12% contraction in its economy in the first quarter of 2020. The 10% of the economy is going to slump in the economy of Europe. World’s 500 richest people including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma have already lost altogether US$238.5 billion last week of the Black Thursday crash caused by this Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic in March and is likely to be increased this ratio in the month of April onwards too as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Tourism business

Tourism business has been desperately affected due to the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Airline companies of the world, Travel agencies, Hotel and restaurants are almost closed. The economic activities in such area have been plunged to zero. Tourism industries and countries depended up on the tourism have badly affected.

Most Severe Impact due to lockdown of COVID-19 All people of the world are not safe from this devastating pandemic. However, the impact of the pandemic will hit severely to the low-income people, especially informal workers working in the hotels, retail trade, and transport, construction sectors and so on who have no access of healthcare or social safety and security. Similarly, people of low-income states especially to people of developing and underdeveloped nations who are working on the daily wages basis and are surviving their life from it. A horrible trend of more than 10 percent of health workers being infected in some countries as per WHO has shocked the people of the world. It’s very hard to be safe if the health workers themselves are at risk. Hence, special focus on them has been an urgent requirement for all nations though international agencies are being seriously alert on it.

 Way forward to get rid of Corona Virus (COVID-19)
The World Health Organization(WHO) has clearly mentioned the technics to protect and to be protected from Corona Virus Disease. As per the WHO, a country should be sure that, i) the transmission is controlled, ii) the public health and medical services are available; iii) the outbreak risks in special settings like long-term care facilities are minimized; iv) preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other places where it’s essential for people to go; v) importation risks can be managed; and vi) communities are fully aware and engaged in the transition. However, the total case of the disease has grown day by day. The main activities to avoid the COVID-19 is to sanitize hand with soap and water and to prioritize the cleanliness in every house and courtyard along with social distancing. However, in some countries there is no locked down yet. Being the second richest country in the world in water resource, Nepal has been facing clean drinking water in Kathmandu Valleys and other major cities. In such a situation, we cannot imagine the proper handwashing and people will be protected from Covid-19. 42 countries of the world have less than 50% access to basic handwashing facilities including soap and water at home as per the World Bank report 2017. It shows a further threat of increment of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the rate of this disease highly increasing the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in health clinical center are lacking. There are lacking well-trained medical personnel in all area of the nations. Another common problem is the late recognition of COVID-19 and lack of inexperienced medical personnel to deal with this disease. Health workers have no access of masks, gloves, gowns and other PPE they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and confidently. People are uneducated and cannot understand the seriousness of the case some many places where there is low rate of literacy. Nepal has announced as 100 percent literate country in 2019, however there are many people who cannot read and write. The same cases may be in many of the developing countries and it can be a big problem of awareness of sanitation and other necessity. Around 1.85 billion people (36%) of the world’s population were living in extreme poverty as per World Vision Incorporation in 2018. A cluster of cases and community spread have seen in various countries.

Commitment for support for combating the COVID-19 and Hope
Many International Organization are working for the support for fighting with the COVID-19 pandemic. World Bank Group, IMF, IDA and other organizations are working in providing policy advice, technical assistance, and emergency support tailored to countries’ unique needs which will help to explore legislative efforts they can adapt to their country to bolster physical and human capital, protect the private sector, and limit the negative social and economic impacts on the most vulnerable. The cases are expanding in such a way that IMF has expected demand of about $100 billion in financing for combating activities of COVID-19 and the lending programs have been approved at record speed including for the Kyrgyz Republic, Rwanda, Madagascar, and Togo and many more to come in future considering to mitigate the huge loss from this pandemic. IMF is one of the sound financial organization of the world which has $1 trillion in lending capacity and are placing it at the service of its membership in such catastrophic phenomenon. IMF has restored its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to provide immediate debt relief to low-income countries affected by the crisis, thereby creating space for spending on urgent health needs rather than debt repayment. IMF is working with donors to increase the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to $1.4 billion to extend the duration of the debt relief. G20 countries has expressed strong support for Africa, and other countries tailored to them. WHO is closely working with affected countries on strategies for gradually and safely easing the situations. To support countries, WHO has already launched three tools to help managers and planners calculate the health workers, supplies and equipment that will be needed for the increase in COVID19 patients. It has estimated the needs of hundreds of millions of medical masks and gloves; up to 25 million N95 respirators, gowns and face-shields; up to 2.5 million diagnostic tests; and large quantities of oxygen concentrators and other equipment to be distributed for clinical care every month to combat and mitigate the pandemic per its press briefing. World Food Program will be deploying eight 747 aircraft, eight medium-sized cargo aircraft, and several smaller passenger planes to move humanitarian workers, technical staff, trainers and other personnel as per the requirement of the crisis.

The World Bank has approved a fast-track $29 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help Nepal prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness. The agreement was signed on April 7,2020 by the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank.

The availability of up to $12 billion financing for COVID-19 support package is announced by the World Bank to combat this pandemic. Out of which $8 billion of which is new on a fast track basis comprising up to $2.7 billion new financing from IBRD; $1.3 billion from IDA, complemented by reprioritization of $2 billion of the Bank’s existing portfolio; and $6 billion from IFC, including $2 billion from existing trade facilities. The World Bank is deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.

Things to do during COVID-19
Based on the various fact of total case, death case, lockdown, preventive action followed by various countries in the world has taught many things to many countries of the world. We can learn many things from China, Italy, Singapore, Spain, USA and South Korea for the necessary action to be taken and to be protected before a huge damage is occurred in the nation. Those countries have shown the evidence of proper lockdown or breaking the chain of COVID-19, Proper sanitization, public awareness, proactive activities for prevention, proper food and personal hygiene, proper use of mask, ample PPE, rapid test of this disease and proper management for the safeguarding of poor people from losing their life because of this disease are the first and foremost necessity of any countries in the world. Let’s protect and be protected.

Lakpa Sherpa
Kathmandu, Nepal
E-mail:[email protected]

Please Comment