CEBU

Tell it to SunStar: Beyond endemic

Robert John Medida and Jamie Love Salvador

A DEVELOPING, breaking story since January, the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to put the Filipino people in fear. The world seems to be plagued by the home-grown virus that came from Wuhan, China, placing flights to and fro the country of origin banned temporarily for non-Filipinos.

On the other hand, the Filipinos in general were impressed on how prompt the Chinese government was in addressing the issue. The country was able to build a hospital for those who were tested positive on the virus for a short period of time. Caveat, China condeveloped an empty lot for a hospital building that is set to open in May. (This means that they did not start from scratch.)

The world’s second largest economy put Wuhan in lockdown. Russia, one of China’s allies closed its borders, too! The virus puts the world under threat as the virus can be acquired via close contact. Countries prepared their quarantine facilities and tightened their airport security. Now, how would this probably affect other countries’ economies?

As China is said to be one of the greatest exporters on electrical machinery, furniture, and other plastic products, this means that it is a challenge for those countries who are relying on China’s goods, like South Korea’s Hyundai, which relies on China’s car components. The said carmaker reportedly looked for a new supplier. Aside from this, we should also take into consideration those multinational companies (MNCs) that temporarily suspended their operations, those fast food chains, coffee shops and clothing stores.

When countries temporarily ban sea and air travels from China, this may also mean that those cargo ships carrying those goods and products are included.

For those developed countries that are already stable and organized like Australia, to face this challenge might not be a total burden for them considering their advanced healthcare system. However, if we look at Timor Leste, the country is said to have asked Indonesia to quarantine 17 of its citizens, but was then rejected. This, therefore, means that to face the current health issue is an additional state expense for quarantine facilities.

The Philippines might expropriate private facilities and buildings and convert them into quarantine centers for people suspected of contracting the virus. This is apparently a step towards combating the virus that has started to infiltrate the country. There have been talks about using the drug facilities in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, which is apparently donated by none other than a Chinese philanthropist to help address the need for space for patients to be treated and tested.

There have been many actions taken in the midst of this epidemic and we believe that this will only be temporary as many countries are now working on how to properly combat the virus. The preemptive measures in terms of treatment are well on their way, and hopefully, it will not create much impact on the Philippine economy because if it would, that might result to financial crisis which the Filipino people could not afford to happen.


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