ISSN 2330-717X

The Politics Of Pandemics: Tracing The COVID-19 – OpEd


The predictions about catastrophe of coronavirus grow more ominous with every passing day, world health organization disclosed that it imposes a great menacing and global threat than terrorism. It’s explicitly bad enough and agonizing for the whole world. This pandemic threatened an economic crisis as well a health crisis, the economists have anticipated that the global financial institutions are on the verge of collapse. The coronavirus pandemic is a world-shattering event whose far-ranging consequences are gruesome for the whole world. It has brought severe consequences to the global economy, the stock markets around the world disrupted significantly, exposed competences of governments and millions of people have lose their jobs as the pandemic undoubtedly leads to recession. All over the world, every country closed down its economic, political, educational and social activities, the future has been uncertain.

According to the world’s prominent bio-scientists, this pandemic disease could adversely affect approximately 60% of the world’s population and that could cause causalities of more than 45 million people. This fact should be clear that such infectious disorders are quite formidable because, it spreads with exponential growth, as tens of cases become hundreds and hundreds become thousands. Any country doesn’t appear that has been completely successful at 100% containment and drive this virus back to wildlife. It’s disheartening every single individual but it also gives some sort of motivation to take precautionary measures. Up till now, According to the World Health Organization, the Covid-19 has affected more than 300,000 people in at least 186 countries, approximately 13,000 people have died and almost 95,000 have been recovered as well.

Initially, the new viral disease Covid-19, which smacked China at the beginning of December started escalating from its epicentre Wuhan and now it has been moved all around the world. At the earlier stage, when the team of Chinese doctors who have confirmed this news, were arrested and interrogated by Chinese authorities, they have asked to remain silent and to avoid speaking out in public. They were even castigated and suspended for a certain period by the Chinese government. Chinese officials at first suppressed news of this disease, which became a grave error that allowed the virus to take hold, gradually the cases get increases and finally the Chinese government decided to take serious steps and start lock downing major cities like Wuhan, Hubei and Beijing to curb Covid-19.  The authorities imposed largest and draconian quarantine over its people, Factories shut down, public transport got stuck and people were ordered to remain indoors. Although, these were tough conditions but without it, China would by now have to register millions of cases and thousands of deaths but this strategy worked out tremendously. Now after huge suffering, China is coming back in normal routine but the severity of Covid-19 in rest of the world regions are getting abhorrent and dreadful. 

The whole of Europe has been locked down for two weeks and precautionary measure are being taken by every country as this viral disease infected a huge chunk of masses in Europe. At the beginning of February, Italian authorities announced that a cluster of few cases of Covid-19 has been detected in Lombardy (a global hub of Italy’s finance). By the next day, the number was up to 100 and around 10 elderly people had died. The affluent Italian region having outstanding medical facilities, they have thought that we will cope with this disease but then a wave of people turning into pneumonia. The hospitals run out of ventilators and oxygen, exhausted medical staff at the hospital forced people and leave untreated patients to die. Currently, there is a very stringent lockdown; police officers are patrolling everywhere, people are stopped to avoid any movement, every single sector either it’s economic, educational, technical or political institution, have been closed in European countries. Despite, all these tough and rigorous measures, the number of deaths in Italy are 4825, Spain 1378, China 3255, Iran 1556 and still various cases are critical.

Iran, where the first Covid-19 cases were reported two days before Italy, has also closed schools, national institutions and cancelled all events. The worship and flow of pilgrims increased the chances of spreading Civid-19 with exponential growth in Iran and now, it has appeared with dire consequences. The number of deaths in Iran is more than one thousand and still various cases are critical. Epidemiologists have suggested earlier that the number of people who have left china infected with Covid-19 is significantly higher than those of infected people; it would be spread from country to country and it had happened true as we have seen the cases in approximately 186 countries, the situation is still terrible because the virus’s spread had been underestimated.

The economic impacts of coronavirus are also devastating and stressful, according to world’s financial markets, the spread of Covid-19 caused a massive sell-off, and stock markets had fallen 10% in America, 9% in Europe and 8% in Asia over the past few days. The industries, commodities, cross-border commerce, and securities which are more sensitive to global growth got temporarily ceased. Unfortunately, if this pandemic continues with other diseases, there is a distinct chance that rich economies would slip into recession and obviously, it will bring a fresh set of threats and crises for the whole world. In the west, Covid-19 is explicitly a massive challenge and threat for politicians to overcome this uncertainty, critics are there to create a blame-game but only a concrete solution will help them out against this menace. This virus has already exposed the strengths and flaws of globalization and neoliberal world order, it has tested all political systems in both rich and developed countries, which came into contact with Covid-19.

Laboratory research is still going on all around the world to find some sort of sophisticated vaccine but it will take time. The governments are dealing with real problems and people are demanding a silver-bullet solution to overcome this pandemic. In short, the best time is to aware people about any coming threats with earlier notifications, countries have to learn lessons from it to shun any futuristic vulnerabilities. Businesses need long-term sustainability and continuity of plans, governments must ensure quick and better channel to limit panic circumstances. Similarly, increasing growth of diseases means that health systems are less overwhelmed, which saves lives.  If there is any vulnerability of threats, governments should follow and contact one another to plan and implement pre-emptive measures to contain any complication. The total number of infections throughout the course of this pandemic can be lower by giving better treatment facilities to patients. Better treatment means fewer deaths; similarly, better treatments will help to improve the recovery process. In the end, the health care system still needs reforms and should be prepared for what is coming next, it must include painstaking logistic planning, quick supply of required medical equipment. By now, this work should have been done but anyways, every calamity brings some cautious lessons to learn. May God protect us!

*Zakir Ullah is an Independent Researcher, based in Islamabad, Pakistan, holds a graduate degree in international relations and has a keen interest in International Political Economy, Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies and Foreign affairs. [email protected]

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