Coronavirus Aftermath Might Last up To a Year, Singapore’s Foreign Minister Warns
Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday about Singapore’s response to the COVID-19 Outbreak, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan stated that the global spread of the Coronavirus and its economic aftermath will last at least a year.
“Which means that anything we do needs to be sustainable and sensible for the long-term.”
Balakrishnan also mentioned that Singapore believes that the mortality rates of the virus around the world say a lot about the healthcare system of a country.
“As long as healthcare systems are not overwhelmed, we believe mortality rates can decrease to about 1%, hopefully, even lower.”
The Economic Aftermath Will Last a Year because the Coronavirus “Genie Is Out Of the Bottle”
Vivian Balakrishnan contrasted Coronavirus to the SARs outbreak, which was confined to East Asia, in China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore and contained with definitive social and medical procedures.
He added that as a new virus, the COVID-19 has exploded. It poses a great danger to countries around the world. Furthermore, it is wishful to assume it can be handled like previous outbreaks:
“So, we do not make the assumption that this will disappear in the summer months.”
While it only took four months for the affected Asian region to get over the effects of SARS. Additionally, six months for the economic impact to wear out, Balakrishnan said:
“This time it’s going to take longer, and it’s going to be all countries. So you need psychological preparation.”
Singapore’s Initial line Of Defense Is Border Control to prevent Import of Cases
As much as border control is effective in preventing new infections from other countries, Singapore is also implementing “hard containment” by “identifying, isolating, treating, and keeping mortality rate low.”
Consequently, Singapore will implement a delay strategy. That will ensure their intensive care capacity will not, at one point, become overwhelmed by the peak of the outbreak in the country. He said:
“And that means a whole host of social distancing and other measures, which by the way, have not only a social impact but an economic impact.”
The World Health Organization, through their Chief Tedros Ghebreysus, has praised Singapore’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak by stating:
“Singapore is a good example of an all-of-government approach – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s regular videos are helping to explain the risks and reassure people.”
Singapore has reported a total of 166 cases. Out of which 93 have been discharged, 10 are in intensive care units, and so far, zero deaths have been recorded.
Governments around the World Will Have To Take Measures Unique To Their Circumstances
The coronavirus has now infected over 110 000 people. It has spread to over 110 countries. The virus has become a global phenomenon, according to WHO.
Economic news from most countries indicates that if the virus continues to spread things won’t be too good. The economy of individual countries, as well as the world economy, are looking at more than tough times ahead.
The latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) state that as of 10th March 2020, five more territories, namely Mongolia, Cyprus, Guernsey, Panama, and Brunei Darussalam, have reported cases of Coronavirus. WHO stated:
“As virus transmission shifts to other countries, measures are currently being implemented against countries other than China. The main reason given for implementing such measures is perceived as a vulnerability. Or possibly limited country capacity and the nature of the virus epidemiology.”
Balakrishnan urged governments to adopt the right balance and implement measures that will work best for their unique circumstances. He concluded by saying:
“In fact, this is an acid test of every country’s quality of healthcare, the standard of governance, and social capital. And if anyone of this tripod is weak, it will be exposed and exposed quite unmercifully by this epidemic.”
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