This small yet most horrific disease of the century has affected almost every individual, organisation, and state around the globe. People are suffering joblessness, layoffs, businesses shutdowns, on a smaller scale, while on the large scale, economies have been hit hard with stock markets plunging record low and imports/exports industry suffered severely. Governments are forced to adopt aggressive measures to save peoples’ lives, their jobs, businesses, and economy as a whole. Although China has been successful in curbing the spread of the virus, which no other country could do as efficiently, the cases are still there and are not decreasing in number. The lockdown on global level has been implemented with huge rigour, however, the results are yet to be seen. One can hope that these measures prove effective and the world gets out of this situation sooner rather than later.
UN Chief Antonio Gueteress has rightly said: “COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations.” This pandemic has caused worry even to the superpowers and the first world countries. The pandemic has caused its impacts on several sectors and different strata of populations, differentiating between none. Following are some of the sectors that coronavirus has impacted on:
Daily Wages Workers and Labour Force:
Daily wages workers have been most affected from this virus. People have been shut down in their houses due to lockdown imposed by several governments. Factories and industries are shut down causing workers to lose their earnings. According to an estimate of the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO), almost 5 to 25 million jobs are to be lost, and the labour force will be deprived of $860 billion to $3.4 trillion.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs):
It would not be wrong to say that SMEs are the most vulnerable businesses in the face of coronavirus. Large companies, enterprises, and businesses can withstand the loss inducted by the virus, however, small businesses have to face the brunt of this pandemic. These businesses include restaurants, travel industry among others. Travel industry has been hit most by this pandemic as travel has been banned on global and local levels to contain the spread of the virus. Furthermore, the demand side of the industry has suffered a lot as people are more reluctant to buy new items in order to save finances and to stay safe.
However, the load faced by these small industries can be reduced by governments through several ways. Governments have reduced taxes, offered guarantees and grants, provided the SMEs with useful information on how to reduce the effects of the virus, allowing late payment of debts and many more incentives in order to weather the impact of the containment measures.
On the other side, some businesses have flourished during this situation. These include medical and vitamin C containing fruits, especially oranges.
“From an economic perspective, the key issue is not just the number of cases of COVID-19, but the level of disruption to economies from containment measures,” Ben May, head of global macro research at Oxford Economics, said in a report this week
Large Scale Businesses and World Economies:
The scale and severity of the virus can be predicted from the fact that even large scale businesses and different world economies are not aloof from this threat. Recently Business Insider published a review given by different businesses in which they described the situation faced by them amid coronavirus spread.The main issue faced by the businesses is taking care of the well-being of their employees and also facilitating them financially. On the demand side, these businesses faced a substantial setback as due to containment measures, people are unable or reluctant to buy their products. According to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) most of the world’s economies will grow less this year than in 2019, as given below:
|Country||GDP growth in 2019||GDP growth in 2020 (Forecast)|
Healthcare System and Pharmaceuticals:
Healthcare system has been affected by the novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2. The most suffered by and vulnerable to this disease are the doctors and paramedical staff who risk their lives on the frontlines fighting this virus. These medical specialists even stay away from their families knowing that they may infect their families with the virus. They may be regarded as real heroes.
On the other hand, the poor performance of the pharmaceutical industry is revealed by this pandemic. There is also a huge lag in supply chain management. Countries are restricting the exports of their pharmaceutical products. After substantial success in containing coronavirus, China has resumed much of the daily operations, including the resumption of production of its pharmaceutical products. Now it is exporting its supplies to other vulnerable and needing countries. Although the number of cases of coronavirus and death toll is rising exponentially over the world, walking on the footsteps of China can help governments and authorities in successfully combating the virus.
Educational System and Online Teaching:
Schools, colleges and universities all over the world have been closed in order to resist the spread of coronavirus. Although, most of the institutes have resumed their classes online through various remote learning platforms. This caused huge profit for the software developing businesses that developed online meeting and online coaching applications. On the other side, students are not that much satisfied with this online system, as they don’t consider online teaching comparable with live classroom teaching. So, it means that teaching and education has been hurt by this pandemic situation. According to a report of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 188 countries worldwide are forced to close their educational institutes, that have impacted 89.5% learners, that amount to 1,543,446,152 in number.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected a 30 to 40 per cent downward pressure on global foreign direct investment flows while the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) saw a 20–30 per cent decline in international arrivals. Not only international travel is banned, but also local transport is also affected severely. It would not be wrong to say that this sector is the most affected by Covid-19. Lockdowns all over the world, institutes closures, closure of tourist places, and business has hit the travel industry so badly. Even the daily commute system is disturbed.
The world has never seen a situation like this the whole century, and might not face it in the future. The world has gone into an extreme lockdown for an indefinite period. The toll of the cases and death is rising day by day exponentially and there is little hope of reversing the situation in less than a month, or even a month or two. “What the world needs now is solidarity,” UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres said. “With solidarity we can defeat the virus and build a better world”.
“With the right actions, the Covid-19 pandemic can mark the beginning of a new type of global and societal cooperation”, said the Secretary-General of the UN. This is the time the world has to rise above conflicts and work together to fight and defeat this pandemic. We can learn from this disease that the world is really a global village, and developing an undefeatable defense system cannot save us in a crisis situation like this. We can work on SDGs to curb global warming, develop modern techniques to plant various crops, and develop and work on medical equipment and pharmaceutical products so that in future nothing could impact the world on this level comparable with coronavirus.