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Declining the corona virus in one country is not a solution - we need a coordinated global strategy

Global cooperation is bound by reality, certainly as long as the virus exists in any country, it can penetrate a country that has already managed to slow down or even wipe it out

By Nader Habibi, Professor of Practice in Middle Eastern Economics, Brandeis University. Translation: Hana Rosenfelder

The symbol of the World Medical Organization. Image by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pixabay
The symbol of the World Medical Organization. Image by Miguel A. Godfather from Pixabay

Policy makers in countries with severe outbreaks of Corona are doing everything they can to slow the spread and flatten the curve. But, at present, there is not much global coordination, which raises the risk of a second wave of spread even after private countries succeed in eradicating the virus's progress.
This is the dilemma facing China and South Korea now. Both countries have apparently succeeded in slowing or blocking the progress of the spread of Corona, and are beginning to fear new outbreaks due to travelers arriving from other countries, including their own citizens returning home.
In other words, as long as the virus exists in some country, it can penetrate a country that has already managed to slow it down or even wipe it out.
As an economist, I fear that efforts to prevent a second wave of proliferation will lead countries to erect more barriers to international trade and tourism. This step will increase and prolong the economic damage.
Therefore, I believe that the only effective long-term solution against the corona virus is a global solution - something that requires a coordinated response.

An uncoordinated mess

Dozens of countries are taking a variety of severe measures to fight against the spread of the corona virus, from social distancing and mass isolation to severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods.
However, there is not much or no coordination at all, the timing changes and the haphazard manner of taking restrictions show that there is no sharing of insights and lessons learned, and this makes it difficult to determine the virus. In addition, the lack of coordination between countries regarding the placement of travel restrictions has led to diplomatic tension that will damage ties, such as when the Trump administration stopped flights from Europe without consulting longtime allies.
Even in the search for a vaccine, there is a serious lack of international coordination, which could have accelerated the process. Most countries take a national and non-cooperative approach, which will limit the effectiveness of a vaccine in deciding an epidemic, with the possibility that each country will favor its own citizens over others.
Although these efforts are slowing down the spread of the corona in some places, the spread is getting stronger in other places, such as the USA, Europe and Iran, which indicates that they are not enough to erase the threat completely. And that means that successful countries will have to expand severe and expensive restrictions on international travel - and those that have managed to prevent spread, like Russia, will have to maintain existing restrictions. In the case of Russia, the closing of the border to China severely affected trade.
In the event that many countries impose restrictions at the same time, everyone suffers, and this will increase the heavy economic cost of Corona, with no end in sight.

Working together
Now, I believe the world needs to join forces in three key ways:
1. Agree on a general, global shutdown, in all countries, even those not severely affected by the corona. There are several countries that have now imposed mass lockdowns, with varying degrees of success. A coordinated worldwide lockdown would be more effective.
2. The World Health Organization WHO should lead global efforts to find a vaccine and treatments for Corona, which will ensure that these are accessible to all. This group can quickly disseminate research results and coordinate activities to avoid duplication. From this, the time required to find a pharmaceutical solution will decrease.
3. Restrictions on tourism, travel and international trade should be determined in coordination with other countries. Instead of nationalistic restrictions that will favor one country at the expense of others, the price of the necessary restrictions will be shared among all trading partners in a fair way that encourages each administration to participate in the painful economic measures.

Global coordination has been successful in the past in crises like the current one. For example, in 2014, US President Obama led the international campaign against the Ebola virus, which affected several countries in Africa. American leadership played a central role in orchestrating and coordinating the global campaign that ultimately contained the epidemic.
This is the kind of encouragement the world needs right now. Surprisingly, the strongest call for international coordination against Corona comes from Saudi Arabia, which now leads the G20, the group of 20 countries with the strongest economies, instead of the US, China or the European Union.

Although there is currently no obligation to attend this virtual meeting, I hope that political leaders of the world's most powerful economies will accept the invitation. A coordinated response to this pandemic cannot come too soon.

For an article in The Conversation

In the same topic on the science website:

6 תגובות

  1. In my opinion, in order to implement the solution in the article, we must first of all unite all the countries of the earth into one federal state called the United States of the Earth, establish one democratic and international constitution, elect a president for the earth in democratic elections for the presidency of the world government, establish one international parliament and international authorities and institutions and create citizenship One uniform system for all and one uniform system of laws with one uniform health system for all humanity and that all systems (education, welfare, etc.) will become global systems with one uniform global plan and then it will be possible to more easily implement the idea published in the article through cooperation.

  2. I was not convinced that this was a legitimate translation. It would have been appropriate to use the word "individuals" or "certain". Even Google Translate didn't make that mistake.

    In any case, the reason that this particular outbreak was not contained while it was still in hostilities, as with SARS and MERS in the previous decade, is that the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) is someone who is not a doctor, but an African communist, who has a well-developed knack for hiding outbreaks of cholera in his country, and is used A spokesman for the Chinese and a tool to hide the outbreak until it was far too late to take adequate preventive measures.

    So far as far as a "coordinated global strategy" under the auspices of all kinds of Bolsheviks is concerned.

  3. The science site, please maintain an adequate level and post articles without proofreading!

  4. To the commenter 'Loram Ipsum':
    In private countries it means several countries (individual=individual).

    Regarding the article itself: this is progressive nonsense. It is possible to coordinate ad hoc actions between different countries, but the proposal to establish a super policy is not connected to reality.

  5. I was happy to learn that there are "private countries". I would love to know what other types of countries there are, and how I can get my own private country!

    Regarding a global lockdown and global coordination: I am afraid that the author of the article lives in some kind of invented world of his own, where it is possible to convene all the countries of the world (including the private ones) and formulate a clear and consistent policy for all the nations of the world and all the health systems without:
    1. First of all, to condemn the State of Israel, comprehensively and comprehensively.
    2. To disagree on all the data, especially for you the Chinese policy of lies and concealment.
    3. Go out with all kinds of anti-racist initiatives along the lines of a "Chinese hug", as they did (of course!) in Florence, or visit the Chinese New Year celebrations.
    4. Cancel all closures, because it's racist.
    5. To reach a disagreement regarding who will manufacture the ventilators and who will pay for them.
    6. End with the condemnation of Israel.

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