Over the past several months, the outbreak of the fast-spreading pandemic of coronavirus or COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. In efforts to stop the pandemic from spreading and provide aid to the sick, many countries are closing borders and imparting quarantine policies on citizens. Not only is the coronavirus taking lives, but it is also heavily impacting the global economy in terms of billions of dollars.
Efforts to Curb COVID-19
Currently, the WHO has reported 234,073 confirmed global cases and 9,840 deaths from the coronavirus. This pandemic is extremely contagious and spreads through respiratory fluids, which is why it is important to cover the mouth when coughing and washing hands frequently. The CDC recommends washing hands every hour for at least 20 seconds.
International governments are also closing borders and canceling flights to slow the impact of coronavirus. Further, people from CEOs to politicians and regular citizens are promoting social distancing. All over the world, authorities are telling people to only leave home when necessary like to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or receive medical care. In Jordan, curfews exist that are punishable with jail time if people do not abide by them. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is asking retired doctors and medical professionals to help fight the outbreak.
Organizations are also taking action to fight the outbreak. Organizations like the Gates Foundation, Wellcome and the Mastercard Impact Fund are contributing large sums to support economically impacted communities. The Gates Foundation and Wellcome have donated up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund has committed up to $25 million. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, has announced the company will donate to “groups on the ground” that are in specific contact with those ill. Specific to the Gates Foundation, its initial donation is a part of the $100 million it has committed to help fight the outbreak and provide aid relief.
Additionally, the co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has donated $14.4 million to help develop a vaccine to reduce the impact of coronavirus. Ma has provided $5.8 million to support two Chinese government research organizations in tackling vaccine production. The rest of the funds are going towards prevention protocols. According to the latest CDC situation report, the first vaccine trials are in progression. Furthermore, the WHO has set up an international study in many countries to compare different treatments.
Impact on the Global Economy
From a financial standpoint, the pandemic is slowly weakening the global economy and will continue to do so until the situation is under control. So far, the impact of COVID-19 is billions of dollars of government money to go towards aid needs, prevention technology and protection measures. Estimates determine that the impact of coronavirus will have cost nearly $2 trillion by the end of 2020. However, some countries like the U.S. are already receiving billions of dollars in bailouts.
With an abundant amount of action per nation, generous donations and hard-work from medical professionals, it is the hope of many that the pandemic will soon take a more positive turn. It is important to take adequate measures to stay safe during the pandemic. Safety precautions allow a slower spread and provide medical professionals and the health care system time to reduce the impact of the virus. Additionally, these measures will aid in providing therapeutic resources and developing vaccines.
– Sarah Mobarak