Coronavirus - New Threat before the World Population and problems of the global Panic Related to the Virus
Coronavirus - New Threat before the World Population and Problems of the Global Panic Related to the Virus
By: Nika Chitadze
Professor of the International Black Sea University
Director of the Center for International Studies
President of the George C. Marshall Alumni Union, Georgia - International and Security Research Center
In the contemporary period, the Coronavirus has been spread in more than 180 countries around the world and as of March 23, 2020, about 354 677 patients worldwide have been infected with this disease. The virus killed 15 436 patients and 100 462 people have been recovered.
It is noteworthy that as of March 15, 2020, the number of victims of the virus worldwide was 5900 and the number of infected exceeded 100 thousand.
China is known to have the highest rate of infection, with 81,496 people in this largest country according to the number of population. By the biggest number of coronavirus carriers, who are after the China are Italy, USA, Spain, Germany, Iran, France and South Korea.
It is also noteworthy that most of the 5,500 deaths are in Italy, followed by China, Spain and Iran. It should be emphasized that the number of coronavirus deaths globally does not exceed 4.5%.
At the first stage of the spread of the virus, various methods by the different countries were chosen to combat the disease, but the policy pursued by the separate states, including economically developed countries, to combat the virus was inadequate.
The rapid distribution of virus throughout the world, especially in Europe, causes the significant threat before the population of our planet. At the same time, much more problems for the each citizen of the World are emerged because of panic related to the possible further distribution of this new type of illness.
This panic is negatively reflected on the psychology of the World`s population and has its influence on social-economic and political situation in the different regions of the World.
In this regard, Let`s briefly consider the various sectors of the current world economy and negative economic, social and political consequences of the virus.
Changes in world stock markets
Along with the slowdown of the economic growth and existed panic, the indexes of the world's leading companies, primarily transnational ones have been significantly decreased. For example, the indexes of the world's leading stock markets fell by 25-30 percent as of mid-March. This process can be somehow compared with the World economic crisis of 2008-2009.
The capitalization of the companies has been reduced by several trillion dollars. The value of such large companies as Apple and Microsoft has dropped by 300-350 billion. The economic growth rate of virtually all countries has declined. Only On March 13, the Japanese Nikkei index fell by 25%, the American Dow Jones fell by 26% and the British FTSE fell by 28%.
In this respect, it should be emphasized that there has been no such decline in the Dow Jones Index since 1987. Of course, the sharp drop in stock prices globally has caused panic among the population.
World Oil prices
The oil price has also fallen sharply due to the coronavirus. This factor at the first stage has been determined by the lower to the fuel demand in China and a worldwide economic recession. World prices for "Black Gold" fell by more than 45% in the second half of March compared to February. For example, on March 20, the price of Brent mark oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange was $ 22.43 per barrel, and on the London Commodity Exchange $ 26, 98.
International Travel / Tourism
After penetrating almost to every country in the world, more than 20 countries have decided to close the border. Traffic was also restricted between the Schengen zone countries, where before the virus spreading, the crossing of the border among the member states was going on without any border procedures. For example, Austria closed the border with Italy to reduce the spread of the virus.
At the same time, US President Donald Trump has decided to ban for the citizens of EU countries from the entering to the United States for tourist purposes.
As a result of above-mentioned factors, the sharp decline in the world tourism is observed. For example, compared to 2019, tourism in the Asia-Pacific region decreased by 98%, in Europe by 31%, in Africa by 22.6%, and in the US by 37%.
The international labor market crisis
Based on the information provided by the UN specialized agency - International Labor Organization, it can be said that the coronavirus caused not only the health crisis but also the crisis at the labor market. In the wake of the pandemic, unemployment threatens about 24 million people worldwide. For comparison, we can analyze the fact, that during the global economic crisis of 2008-2009, 22 million people lost their jobs in various sectors of economy.
Slowing Global Economic Growth
Overall, when considering different sectors of the world economy, it can be concluded that the spread of coronavirus has had a significant impact on world economic growth. Specifically, as it is represented by the various reputable international economic and financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and others, due to the COVID 19, World Economy will loose about 2 Trillion USD. By the way, GDP of our planet exceeds $ 80 trillion. It should be noted that earlier this year it was expected that by 2020 the world economy would grow from 2.4% to 2.9% on average. However, given the current situation, it can be said that in best case the economic growth will be reduced till 1.5%, which will significantly impede the further social-economic development of the different countries and regions of the world. It is also worth the noting that there is still no definitive answer on how long the coronavirus will last, so there are expectations, that the global development will be further declined.
Conclusion - Is there a reason to panic?
At the same time, as it was already mentioned the number of deaths caused by coronavirus reached 15 436 in 2020 (as of March 23). Due to the fact, that it is new illness, it has caused more panic than other illnesses or other tragic events worldwide. Specifically, in the first 2.5 months of this year, more than 100,000 people died from seasonal flu, over 200,000 from malaria, over 275,000 as a result of car crashes, over 340,000 people because of AIDS, over 1 million people as a result of tobacco consumption, 1.5 Million people dies due to the hunger and 1,700,000 were victims of cancer. Today, when the extreme poverty rate has fallen to 10%, which is a historic minimum, each day die for the four times more people from hunger than that with coronavirus in the last two months.
Overall, it can be said that the coronavirus will be finally defeated and detailed statistics of people who have been infected and died will be known, but how many people will be victims of the illness indirectly will only become known by more or less accuracy.