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Published On: Mon, Mar 16th, 2020

Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on the local economy

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By Richard Okunola

Following the recurrent global reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is important for everyone (both young and old) to take proper precautions to safeguard their health at this moment. The corona virus (Covid-19) as at today has recorded over 130,000 confirmed cases, 4,900+ deaths, 70,000+ recovery and still counting based on the statistics from WORLDOMETER and CNN (see reference link beneath this article)

A BRIEF ABOUT THE CORONA VIRUS
Report from ‘WHO’ has it that corona-viruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel corona-virus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

THE MAIN TOPIC
It is no longer news that many economies and businesses are beginning to crash due to the revolting action and impact of corona virus on the populace. Many sports have been suspended, flights cancelled and put on hold, malls are being closed down and some countries have begun shutting down many activities. Some areas in China and Italy are badly affected already; schools, businesses and other activities have been restricted. Without mincing words, recession is looming if no cure is discovered on time.
Local economies will feel the impact of Covid-19 on the long run when markets begin to shut down, Chinedu will be unable to sell his goods despite the fact that they are perishable, he will make heavy loss by closing down his business, consumers of Chinedu’s products (goods & services) will be unable to patronize him due to fear of contacting the virus, they will have money but would not be able to get what they want, transportation will be an issue, even public transit will experience little or no patronage from the populace as everyone will be very careful of whatever activity they do in a bid to avoid contact.
Another very good example of the impact of Covid-19 on business is a look at Airline Industry. If a ban/restriction is placed on local/international flights, it will not only plummet the revenue of the airline companies, it will also displace them as there are other costs that will be incurred irrespective, in fact cost of maintenance of each airplane would likely increase.
In a bid to cut cost, there might be need for organisations to lay-off their staff since they are not working. It is also important to note that this is not the best time to travel as you may end up being stuck, inuring more than budgeted if a ban is placed on the country you fly to. e.g If a person travels to Dubai, lodged in a hotel and is supposed to return to Nigeria on March 19, suddenly on March 18 the government restricts all outbound-flights. Such person might be impoverished quickly as he would have to incure additional costs (accommodation, feeding etc). I have excluded the complex economic effect on the macro-economy to keep the content as lucid as possible. You can read up on other articles talking about the global impact on currencies, oil-price etc.

WAY FORWARD & PREVENTIVE MEASURES
According to the Global Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), there is currently no vaccine to prevent corona-virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Hence, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Some of the tips provided so far includes: cleaning your hands often (use of sanitizer & regular washing of your hands), avoid close contacts (especially with people who are sick), avoid large gathering for now, use nose-guards when in public space, avoid handshake if possible and cover your nose when sneezing. Other tips can be found on the CDC & WHO websites cited beneath this research.
In conclusion, many businesses may be affected, hike in price of goods & commodities may be inevitable if Covid-19 hits a local community, so it is advised that you stock your house regularly with sufficient food in case of sudden scarcity. You do not need to panic, all you need now is to be watchful, careful and prayerful (if you believe).
Richard Okunola is a young Nigerian writer who is passionate about writing to inform, educate and update the populace especially those in the local community using available medium to disseminate useful information.

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