The Situation of Country after COVID-19 | Moiz Khan
We barely bother the future as we are now fighting against noble coronavirus pandemic commonly called COVID-19. We don’t know what next, and how does it end. The post COVID-19 people on the planet must face unparalleled social and economic challenges. Millions of jobs are at risk. The UN agency –International Labor Organization (ILO) for example, warned that the latest dire assessment reflects the full or particle lockdown measure that affects almost 2.7 billion workers– four in five of the world’s workforce. While we have no research data available at the national level, Nepal needs to protect the most vulnerable segments such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), self-employment, women, and youth.
We know pandemic is causing large-scale loss of life and severe human suffering globally. The world is facing an unprecedented test. And this is the moment of truth. The World Health Organization has confirmed that COVID-19 is pandemic in nature. Though originated in the Wuhan City of China has so far affected the people of 197 countries including Nepal.  Well, the impacts we are facing in the present condition will determine the situation of country after the pandemic is over. It has affected the economic aspects of the development of the country. The branches of development including agriculture, tourism, and industry are mostly affected. These factors will let us know what will be the condition of Nepal after COVID-19.
The main focus goes on the lifestyle of a person. Lockdown for the long term may affect our habits. The socio-economic condition of a normal person is somehow affected which will definitely change our lifestyle after the pandemic is over. The need to upgrade international standards for the hygiene, working conditions, and living facilities will be also affected. Moreover, energy and creativity are degraded.
While the first concern is public health, we may expect disruptions in the food supply chains. The shortage of fertilizers, veterinary medicines, and other input could affect agricultural production. Closures of restaurants and less frequent grocery shopping diminish demand for fresh produce and fisheries products, affecting producers and suppliers. Currently, some 820 million people around the world are experiencing chronic hunger, not eating enough caloric energy to live normal lives. Of these, 113 million are coping with acute severe insecurity, a hunger so severe that it poses an immediate threat to their lives or livelihoods and renders them reliant on external assistance to survive.  These obstructions in a healthy diet may lead to many long-term health hazards. The insufficiency of elements like protein, carbohydrate, fats may lead
to severe diseases. For example, Quarantines and panic during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Sierra Leone (2014-2016), led to a spike in hunger and malnutrition.  The organization like FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) is particularly concerned about the pandemic’s impacts on vulnerable communities. The small-scale farmers, pastoralists, and fishers who might be hindered from working on their land, caring for their livestock, or fishing have to face challenges accessing markets to sell their products or buy essential inputs. Mostly they have to struggle due to higher food prices and limited purchasing power. On the supply side, companies experience a reduction in the supply of labor. Many of the laborers will be hard hit by job and income losses in harvesting and processing. As the virus spreads and cases mount, there are countless ways the food systems at all levels will be tested and strained in the coming weeks and months.
The science and industry were not focused on any medicine or drug regarding the pandemic. However, the study after the crisis started has made many foundations and creations in the field of Science and Technology. The measures to support innovation can be fruitful in these conditions. China encouraged SMEs to engage in the innovation of technologies and products related to pandemic prevention and control. Why we are not concerned about the effects of this crisis after it’s over? There is no medicine or vaccine for use at this point in time. However, various studies have given a relief that it can be managed to some extent. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), for restricted public health use among the symptomatic Covid-19 patients, has approved Lopinavir/Ritonavir, a fixed-dose combination antiretroviral sold under the brand name of Kaletra. The Doctors have also recommended the use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the high-risk population.  It is the largest public health crisis in living memory, which has also generated a major economic crisis, with a halt in production in affected countries, a collapse in consumption and confidence, and stock exchanges responding negatively to heightened uncertainties.  There are several ways the coronavirus pandemic affects the economy, especially SMEs, on both the supply and demand sides. Considering the unparalleled and fast-evolving nature of the crisis, it is extremely challenging to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on international tourism. UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) is working closely with the World Health Organization. The problems in logistics associated with restriction in transportation, border closures, and the reduced demand in restaurants and hotels can generate significant market changes i.e. affecting prices. UNWTO estimates international tourist arrivals could decline by 20% to 30% in 2020.  This estimate is very true for Nepal since the decline in international tourist arrivals can lower our economy by a margin.
Looking after some background, the 2008 financial crisis showed the world what could happen when reduced income and uncertainty make people spend less and result in shrinking demand. Sales declined. So did production. In March, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co- operation and Development) cut its forecast for global economic growth in 2020 from 2.9 percent to 2.4 percent, which would be the lowest level since the financial crisis a decade ago, warning that a prolonged and more intensive coronavirus epidemic could even halve this figure to a mere 1.5 percent.  This data tells us what can be the condition of the developing countries after this ends. Moreover, there will be a significant devaluation of the exchange rate with respect to the US dollar, which will also affect the import-dependent countries. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009. 
Many countries have introduced SME specific policy measures. In order to ease future constraints, many countries have introduced measures towards the deferral of tax, social security payments, debt payments, rent, and utility payments. Several countries are providing grants and subsidies to SMEs and other companies to bridge the drop in revenues. Policy inputs like the formulation of wage support schemes and the provision of loan guarantees can be helpful for future days. It’s high time for human civilizations with the low point of self-esteem of survival but there is always a string of hope and faith with which humans can overcome any kind of battle.
What the world needs now is unity. With solidarity, we can defeat the virus and build a better world.
- https://www.mygov.in/covid-19 (accessed on 9th April)
- http://www.fao.org/ (accessed on 10th April)
- World Health Organization (2016)- Report of Ebola (accessed on 10th April)
- URL:https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 (accessed on 10th April)
- Impact assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak on international tourism (accessed on 11th April)
- URL: http://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/ (accessed on 12th April)
- WHO.https://www.who.int/publications-detail/covid-19-operational-guidance- formaintaining-essential-health-services-during-an-outbreak (accessed on 12th April)
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 70 (accessed on 12th April)
Moiz Khan, Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences (7th Semester), School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Dhungepatan, Pokhara-30, Kaski, Nepal
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