THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC ON NIGERIA ECONOMY A STUDY OF CONVID-19
Infectious diseases and associated mortality have abated, but they remain a significant threat throughout the world. We continue to fight both old pathogens, such as the plague, that have troubled humanity for millennia and new pathogens, such as coronavirus otherwise known as CONVID-19 that have mutated or spilled over from Wuhan China.
Coronavirus is a deadly epidemic to the whole world , imposing substantial but steady burdens. The health risks of coronavirus and the fear and panic that accompany it map to various economic risks.
First, and perhaps most obviously, there are the costs to the health system, both public and private, of medical treatment of the infected and of outbreak control. A sizable outbreak can overwhelm the health system, limiting the capacity to deal with routine health issues and compounding the problem. Beyond shocks to the health sector, coronavirus force both the ill and their caretakers to miss work or be less effective at their jobs, driving down and disrupting productivity. Fear of coronavirus can result in social distancing or closed schools, enterprises, commercial establishments, transportation, and public services as witnessed in China,Italy, Nigeria etc all of which disrupt economic and other socially valuable activity.
Concern over the spread of coronavirus have perhaps lead to decreased trade and locked down of Nigerian borders. Travel and tourism to regions affected by the outbreaks have also decline.coronavirus pandemic have also deter foreign direct investment as well.
The economic risks of coronavirus epidemic are not trivial. Countries affected by this outbreak have lost billions of dollars including both lost income and the intrinsic cost of elevated mortality. Even when the health impact of an outbreak is relatively limited, its economic consequences can quickly become magnified. Nigeria, for example, saw GDP growth decline 45percentage points from within few months of the recent coronavirus outbreak in the whole world.
The consequences of coronavirus outbreaks and epidemics are not distributed equally throughout the economy. Some sectors may even benefit financially, while others will suffer disproportionately. Pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines, antibiotics, or other products needed for coronavirus outbreak response are potential beneficiaries. Health and life insurance companies are likely to bear heavy costs, at least in the short term, as are livestock producers in the event of an outbreak linked to animals. Vulnerable populations, particularly the poor, are likely to suffer disproportionately, as they may have less access to health care and lower savings to protect against financial catastrophe.
Economic policymakers are accustomed to managing various forms of risk, such as trade imbalances, exchange rate movements, and changes in market interest rates.
Managing risk of coronavirus in Nigeria
Epidemic risk is complex, but policymakers have tools they can deploy in response. Some tools minimize the likelihood of outbreaks or limit their proliferation. Others attempt to minimize the health impact of outbreaks that cannot be prevented or immediately contained. Still others aim to minimize the economic impact.
Investing in improved sanitation, provisioning of clean water, and better urban infrastructure can reduce the frequency of human contact with pathogenic agents. Building strong health systems and supporting proper nutrition will help ensure good baseline levels of health, making people less susceptible to infection. Of course, strengthening basic systems, services, and infrastructure becomes easier with economic growth and development; however, policies to protect spending in these areas even when budgets are constrained can help safeguard developing economies from major health shocks that could significantly impinge upon human capital and impede economic growth.
Investment in reliable disease surveillance in both human and animal populations is also critical. Within formal global surveillance systems, it may be beneficial to develop incentives for reporting suspected outbreaks, as countries may reasonably fear the effects of such reporting on trade, tourism, and other economic outcomes. The Corovirus epidemic, for instance, might have been better contained if China had reported the initial outbreak to the WHO earlier.
Informal surveillance systems, such as ProMED and HealthMap, which aggregate information from official surveillance reports, media reports, online discussions and summaries, and eyewitness observations, can also help Nigeria centre for disease control (NCDC)and international responders get ahead of the epidemiological curve during the early stages of an outbreak. Social media offers additional opportunities for early detection of shifts in infectious disease incidence like Coronavirus.
Nigeria and other Countries should be ready to take initial measures to limit the spread of coronavirus . Historically, ships were quarantined in port during plague epidemics to prevent the spread of the disease to coastal cities. In the case of highly virulent and highly transmissible diseases, quarantines may still be necessary, although they can inspire concerns about human rights. Likewise, it may be necessary to ration biomedical countermeasures if supplies are limited. Countries should decide in advance if they will prioritize first responders and other key personnel or favor vulnerable groups, such as children and the elderly.
Technological solutions can help minimize the burden of sizable coronavirus outbreaks and epidemics. Better and less costly treatments including novel antibiotics and antivirals to counter coronavirus are sorely needed. New and improved vaccines are perhaps even more important.
We cannot predict which pathogen will spur the next major epidemic after coronavirus, where that epidemic will originate, or how dire the consequences will be. But as long as humans and infectious pathogens coexist, outbreaks and epidemics are certain to occur and to impose significant costs. The upside is that we can take proactive steps to manage the risk of epidemics and mitigate their impact. Concerted action now at the local, national, and multinational levels can go a long way toward protecting our collective well-being in the future.