• September 23rd, 2020

Letter - Re-imagining the future under the impact of Covid-19


Jaqueline Kerina

The outbreak of Covid-19 has quickly evolved from a local issue to a global crisis. In addition to the tragic human loss, the disease is having and will continue to have a profound economic impact. The outbreak has posed significant threats to international health and the economy. In the absence of treatment for this virus, there is an urgent need to find alternative methods to control the further spreading of the disease.  
The impact of the coronavirus is without doubt having a serious dent on the global economy and has sent policymakers looking for ways to respond. The public health sector experience so far shows that the right policies make a difference in fighting the disease and mitigating its impact, but some of these policies come with difficult economic trade-offs. Does the above refer to us the population at large to direct ourselves these questions: What are we doing? Where do we go from here? When do we do it? and How are we doing it? Mitigating the impact of this severe shock requires providing support to the most vulnerable. This makes it clear that as the pandemic takes its toll across the world, those hit the hardest within countries, but also across countries will need support to help contain and prevent the possible further spreading chain of the virus. It is expected of every Namibian to isolate him/herself and to avoid being part of various gatherings such as social outdoors, congregations, funerals such as in a huge crowd which one does not really ask for, to mention a few. 

The Global Report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made detailed recommendations, including endorsing the importance of the precautionary principles that reasonable efforts need to be taken to reduce risk, which was demonstrated various times. Many institutions have made stringent efforts with clear governance in preparation, implementation and response towards taking necessary interventions, such as the total lockdown of regions and certain local authorities in the Erongo region. The reactionary measures taken by many organisations to date include amongst various actions, working from home arrangements to control the outbreak, effective distribution of outbreak alerts, the value of robust and timely surveillance. Furthermore, institutions have highlighted the need to listen to frontline workers and ensure a vigorous safety culture and effective infection control.  

Dissemination of public health information has triggered everyone’s mind to a level where oral hygiene is being practised at its utmost importance. At institutional level, all organisations have demonstrated the need to continue to be prepared at all levels of operations with a key tenet of this response being rapid and reliable communication. It is recommended for everyone to be cooperative, work together in a sensible manner to ensure an effective response and take action on preventive measures such as advocating the use of sanitary wipes, wearing face masks and shields, gloves and washing hands especially when one touched surfaces outside your workplace or home and disinfect where possible.  Observational lessons learned so far show that efforts to contain the virus and save lives should be intensified, and governments should plan stronger, more coordinated measures to absorb the growing economic blow. There will be a continuous loss in annual GDP growth. The tourism sector alone faces an output decrease. Many economies have fallen into recession with further subjection to the new normal. This is unavoidable, as nations need to continue fighting the pandemic whilst at the same time increasing efforts to be able to restore economic normality as fast as possible. 

Due to high cost, the outbreak has brought terrible human suffering globally, along with significant economic cost. We continue to witness that what started as a series of sudden stops in economic activity, quickly cascade through the economy and morph into a full-blown shock simultaneously impeding supply and demand in production as visible in January to date.

The coronavirus pandemic is causing large-scale loss of life and severe human suffering. It is a public health crisis without precedent in living memory, which is testing our collective capacity as human beings. Let us give a big round of applause to those who are working around the clock to save lives, those that are going the extra mile by donating food to the disadvantaged communities; companies; small firms that availed their premises for quarantine purposes; privates donating capital where need be. A big applause! Remarkably, the human race continues to adapt, evolve and reinvent.


Staff Reporter
2020-08-07 10:33:38 | 1 months ago

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