LAHORE: This novel coronavirus is fast engulfing the world and has been declared a pandemic by the WHO. It is frightening to imagine the loss to human life and damage to the world economy as it feels like an apocalyptic movie. We are on an uncharted territory. There is uncertainty throughout the world. We don’t know how long the virus will persist. Since the virus started about 15 weeks ago, around 13,000 human lives have been lost and 300,000 people are reportedly infected. But experts say the numbers of death and infected cases is much higher because the world does not have enough medical capacity to deal with the rapidly spreading virus.
Besides irreparable loss of human life, the virus is damaging the world economy at an unprecedented magnitude. I am a senior citizen and have neither seen in my entire life nor read in history books such an economic slowdown like the one we are witnessing today. Stocks markets are plummeting. Industries and businesses are closing down. Unemployment is rising. Realising that an economic paralysis will weaken the capacity to fight the invisible enemy, countries around the world are announcing huge economic packages to shore up their economies which are being hit hard. This slowdown of economic activities throughout world is creating serious cash flow problem.
The government of Pakistan should also announce a huge economic package on a war footing to help solve the cash flow problem of all industries, businesses, economic workers and all the affected segments to help offset the damage.
Ejaz Ahmad Magoon
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2020.