Home Op-Ed Covid-19 And Its Implication On  Middle East And African Countries – By...

Covid-19 And Its Implication On  Middle East And African Countries – By Osayande Aghaze

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– An Analytical Piece to assess the implications of Pandemic around the  Globe.

The Pandemic originating from Wuhan China has enveloped the whole world and the catastrophe caused by COVID-19 is beyond speculation.  Schools, Colleges, Universities, and businesses are closed for an indefinite period and the World has gone into self-isolation. While countries imposed lockdown around the world in severely hit areas to contain the outbreak at massive scale, African nations are struggling to prevent a devastating economic and social impact.

 

The pandemic has affected all countries especially China, France, Italy, Germany, the US, UK, and Iran. While African nations like Egypt. Nigerian, South Africa, Ghana, Tunisha have been able to mitigate the impact, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and  Afghanistan are still on the edge anticipating a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

 

There are some countries that are severely impacted socially and economically while some countries have sustained moderate impact owing to taking timely preventive measures as per circulated guidelines of WHO and Local Health ministries of respective Countries.

 

With President Donald  Trump clipping the wings of the UN’s apex health body by cutting the financial support amid the Global Pandemic, the catastrophe is expected to go from bad to worse as WHO  will experience the funds’ shortage that will ultimately contribute to a deep humanitarian crisis.

 

The world posts a bleak picture already as all business activities have been suspended, the markets have been closed for an indefinite period, the stock markets crashed and the unemployment ratio suddenly jumped to historical high due to COVID-19 Pandemic. Even OPEC members have decided to cut the oil production given the pandemic situation.

 

The Global economy has been severely impacted by the shocks of the deadly virus that prompted companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Face book, Twitter to ask their employees to work from home to avoid contracting  COVID-19.

 

All the industries have been impacted badly that include entertainment, Sports, food franchise has completely shutdown creating panicking situations all around as once busiest streets and markets have started presenting deserted look.

 

This global economic warrants that if the early remedy to cure COVID-19 is not discovered, the future will be dreadful to predict. Large economies such as China, the US, France, Italy, UK, Germany have been seriously impacted by this deadly virus. The situation is haunting the people around the world, bringing misery of greater proportion as compared to Word War II, Ebola, SARS, MERS, Plage, and Yaws.

 

In most African nations, Daily Wage workers, Private workers, drivers, hawkers, shop keepers and thousands of similar workers have lost their jobs and the opportunity to earn their livelihood. In the US and other European countries, companies have preferred work from home option for their employees to limit the outbreak and avoid contracting COVID-19.

In the US, alarming numbers of workers have filed as unemployed. The lengthy lockdowns have created serious humanitarian and economic crises and the experts are of the view that the circumstances are fast moving towards the global recessions and may take a long time to recover from this catastrophe.

 

Though China has been able to contain COVID-19 and even lifted restrictions on outgoing flights with some strict SOPs, yet the COVID 19 seems to be an invisible predator waiting for its prey regardless of any region. The virus has impacted all the zones i.e with the cooler, hotter or moderate atmosphere.

So far, the only solution to fight this pandemic is social distancing, maintaining the hygienic environment and avoiding crowded spaces. The Governments around the world have imposed strict lockdowns and the frontline fighters (Health workers) around the world are doing a marvelous job to protect their fellowmen even at the cost of falling prey to this deadly virus.

 

 

While fighting this pandemic. Many health workers have been tested positive. Even, some frontline workers have lost their fight to this pandemic and laid down their lives to secure the future of their respective country.

Education is being imparted through digital platforms as online education is increasing for students. Though students are facing some issues such as connectivity, Sound quality, Video Quality, yet in this emergency, the Schools, Colleges, Universities and other online course websites are striving to provide some light of  Knowledge in these difficult times.

 

The booming industries such as restaurants, hotels, motels, and  Aviation have been closed for an indefinite period. Coronavirus Pandemic has brought catastrophe to every corner of the world impacting all industries and has caused economic slowdown throughout the world.

 

Unfortunately, despite the estimate of 151,598 deaths worldwide and over 2.21 Million confirmed cases COVID-19, all eyes are hooked towards the discovery of vaccines to treat the patients and save their lives. At the moment, only plasma therapy is being conducted and some common medicines are being used such as cough, flu fever-related medicine.

Though human trials have been started by some  Pharmaceutical companies, the experts are of the view that it may take years for the vaccine to be available in the market. It is also estimated to be the costliest vaccine ever keeping in view its global implications and rapid speed of pandemic spread in the world.

 

It is estimated that Europe, Asia, Middle East suffer a lot especially, Italy, France, UK, Iran, and the US as the ratio of deaths is higher than other countries especially the US where average deaths per day have surpassed all other nations. Trump in his usual bombastic and erratic decision-making habit recently pledge to cut funding to world health Organization accusing it of mishandling the pandemic and delayed response to mitigate its implication while  WHO head has refuted the allegations.

 

The COVID-19 has also impacted Sports, News & Media, Entertainment and Services Industries to the extent that. All the sporting events have been suspended, series and Leagues have been rescheduled and big events such as  PSL, IPL, FIFA  World Cup, Olympics Games, and others have been completely canceled raising concerns among the players. Even the players are facing the trauma having travel history to the epicenter of COVID-19 Pandemic and tested positive.

 

The Entertainment industry has been heavily impacted as all the dramas, Films, and comedy shooting and recording have been postponed till the indefinite period and all the events including concerts have canceled due to COVID-19 and actors have lost the source of living.

 

The services industry especially the skilled and non-skilled have been subjected to starvation as all the roadside small business such as Hair Cutting Salons, Cobblers, Gold and blacksmith shops, Electricians, Booksellers, daily wages workers and Masons have lost their living owing to lockdowns globally.

Finally, the Print and Electronic  Media are partially impacted though they are a very vulnerable community as they have been busy in coverage of the pandemic around the world and are prone to contracting the deadly virus due to close contact with Patients at Quarantine Centres and the Health specialists working at the hospital and temporary health centers specially set up for an emergency.

 

The Print Media has been hit hard as people consider it risky to read a Print copy of newspapers over COVID-19 fears and prefer paper or online edition of the newspapers. Hence, such a trend has impacted the Newspaper Sales.

On the other hand, electronic media such as News Channels, Radio and Digital Media such as Websites, YouTube are grabbing people’s attention.

The Social Media is also buzzing with COVID-19 updates though  Social Media and Silicon Valley companies have asked their employees to work from home and follow the preventive measures these include Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and Search Giant  Google.

At this critical juncture, the survival of humanity is at stake. this is not the time for bombastic rhetoric, the world MUST be united to fight this global pandemic that is haunting humanity. The US should increase funds to help WHO work effectively for global health and expedite the process of vaccine discovery as each day will deprive the near and dear ones of the families around the world. With collaborative efforts, good leadership, and a united front, the world can win this war against COVID-19. This is the time for exemplary leadership, action, and collaboration, and NOT the time for petty politics, racism as demonstrated in China and self-center policies.

 

Author: Osayande Aghaze. US-Experts in Global Policy matters, and Human Rights.

He can be reached at Editor@afroworldnews.com

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