How is the economy holding up against Corona?
Novel Corona Virus/COVID-19 has literally brought down the world to its knees. From top to bottom, Corona has been able to make each and every country cower in fear.
A very minor pathogen, not even considered an important topic to be covered by the medical students in much detail, has shown the world what it can do to it. The world although facing tragic life losses, business losses, currency depreciation, global recession, and immense uncertainty is still trying its best to put up a good fight against the COVID-19 but as we all know right now, we’re losing.
This being said, the world economy is going through a very big hit and rightfully so, because all of the major industries have shrunken business activities, small-scale manufacturing industries are facing a heavy crisis, and many small businesses have been shut down and a lot of people have lost their jobs.
Pakistan amongst Argentina and Sub-Saharan African countries are said to face a “fearful combination” of different crises such as; rising debts, a deflationary spiral and a disastrous impact on the health sector, according to a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
How Is Pakistan’s Economy Holding Up?
This heinous outbreak took a toll on the big shot countries like China, America, and entire Europe, thus we can only imagine the disastrous effects that it will have on the disadvantaged and progressing countries. Thus, Pakistan cannot do any better, truth to be told this pandemic has been the worst as compared to the Nuclear war in 1998, Earthquake of 2005, Great Financial Crises of 2008, or the Floods of 2010 – it has shaken everyone to the core with the death count that has risen to over 150,000.
As we failed to contain this virus in the early stage when a stricter lockdown and social distancing should have been observed, the international flights should have been immediately canceled, health care sector should have been boosted in the beginning – however since our government failed to do this, we are facing a lot of difficulties.
Our blue-collar workers that rely on daily wages are suffering the most. Since a lot of businesses have shut down, they have nowhere to go and are depending on the ration distribution schemes and the government to help them get through this. Many white-collar workers are working from home but their business or their companies are also going through a tough phase as the world has gone under shut down, there’s not much to work on, is there?
The educational sector has taken a great hit because Pakistan isn’t really developed to ensure the provision of Wi-Fi services to each and every area of Pakistan and since education has been digitalized with the online glasses going on. However, not everyone has the luxury to afford a computer or Wi-Fi in Pakistan and this has put the students at a great disadvantage.
Our large scale manufacturing dropped down 1.15 percent by February 2020 as reported by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Dawn News. This is because all our industries are unable to work at their best. If this lockdown will go on, who knows what will happen?
Even though we have announced a rate cut of 1.5 percent according to the monetary policy statement, many people are distributing rations according to their status and the stimulus package announced by the Government of Sindh of Rs1.25 Trillion for the economy – we still are struggling and it’s only getting tough for us.
Hope Is The Hope Now
The sudden lockdown, the feeling of entrapment in our very own houses, disturbing news of increased cases and deaths, the constant debates on if the lockdown should be lifted to save the economy or should It remain in power to save lives – all of this is stressing us out and the worst part is that we don’t know how to deal with this. Well, the only way is to pray and keep our hopes up.
It’s a tough time to stay hopeful – social distancing means that we don’t get to meet our friends and our family members, go to the malls, we don’t get to go out on lunches and dinners, our routines are messed up, a lot of us ended up having no jobs but this isn’t just happening in Pakistan – it’s a worldwide phenomenon.
Raising the lockdown ban has for a few essential industries may prove to be very harmful but it’s a necessity too. However, it’s only a matter of time when other industries small or large will want to get back to work, what will happen then? How will our Government deal with it then?
The answer is to only wait and hope that by the end of this year’s quarter, our economy might be able to recover from the deadly effects of this pandemic 2019.