The Corona pandemic seems to be on an upward surge. With 175+ nationalities being affected, there has been a case growth of 735,000 with approximately 35000 deaths as on 30th March 2020. Certain regions just have a few cases while others have a lot. Clearly, it shows the level of preparedness of various nationalities for such unforeseen calamities, but till now the focus has been on the human loss. It’s true that human life is more valuable, but its high time that global leaders give a serious thought on the impact that this pandemic has on business. It’s too early to forecast the entire impact on the pandemic on the global economy, but this is the time to ponder over the factors that would determine the control of spread over the coming year.
Epidemiological swing factors for COVID-19 As Per McKinsey Insights
Thought leaders at Mckinsey have shared their perspectives for the coming year. We at SEE Wheelers concur the same to a great extent. Therefore, we share the same with an intention to stimulate the intellectual faculties of our readers. According to McKinsey, the virus can be controlled if the following 5 factors are given serious consideration.
1. Studying New Transmission Complexes & Seasonality Impact of COVID-19
Most of the countries that are in the list of COVID-19 affected regions have just one case presently. However, their future will depend upon how well they enforce preventive measures as enforced by nations like Singapore where the situation could be contained. The world will be divided on those with strict control and those with loose control. Most of the nations having fewer COVID-19 cases are in the tropics, hence in the coming days, we would know about the mitigating effect of climate on the spread of the infection. If the virus is seasonal then it would have the potential to reshape the trade and production trends. Global economies would have to re-calibrate their strategies to stand back on their feet.
2. Effectiveness of Physical Distancing Measures
It has been established that physical distancing or social distancing has been fruitful in controlling the spread of the virus. However, many approaches have been reported to be in practice. There is still some time before we can fully understand the benefits of physical distancing as the numbers still need to be substantial for statistical inference. In the coming weeks, we would learn a great deal about it as the numbers pour in.
Most of the industries and service sector enterprises would be greatly impacted because of physical distancing. If it is found that physical distancing has a significant impact on the control of spread, then the industries have to find new delivery mechanisms and that too quickly.
3. Health Care System
COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid scaling up of the capacities for health care systems across the world. The actual stress on the entire healthcare industry is still undetermined. One thing we know for sure that everything from pharmaceuticals companies to biomedical equipment manufacturers are in overdrive mode. How long they can sustain the added production pressures is another topic for discussion. One thing is certain, that is we need to have efficient healthcare systems in order to cure the ailing population. The health care systems will be overburdened as they have to deal with existing patients as well as the COVID-19 infected population. However, the emerging evidence is mixed presently, and we would know the reality soon.
How well the economies bounce back will be determined by the rate of medical treatment that their productive citizens have access to.
4. Readiness of the health system to prevent another Pandemic
Preparing for the post-peak environment is critical. Nations have to ensure that they have proper testing, control, and quarantine capabilities and protocols in place to prevent further outbreak. This will also determine the trade acceptance to a greater extent. Having surveillance and testing systems that are effective is the need of the hour. Those who can put this factor into action will revive their economies faster than others.
5. The phenomenon of Herd Immunity
“Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient portion of the population isn’t susceptible to an infectious disease; at that point, the transmission doesn’t propagate, for lack of available hosts. It typically occurs through either widespread exposure or immunization. With a disease as infectious as COVID-19, experts believe that more than two-thirds of the population would need to be immune to create herd immunity”. (as on Mckinsey Public Domain)
The way we see it, it’s too early to be optimistic on this front. We are not aware of elements like the mutation that COVID-19 is undergoing, the existence of multiple strains of the virus and how long the person can remain immune. We are certainly hopeful that the scientific community would have answers to these questions soon.
McKinsey & Company