02 July 2020
July 2nd 2020
More than 200 million people are at risk of unemployment as human civilisation faces a new world war in the form of Covid-19 that can only be stopped by global cooperation, a Chinese expert said while addressing the e-symposium organised by Trends Research & Advisory, Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Wang Wen, Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, and Vice President of Silk Road School at Renmin University of China (RUC), also said there is a significant risk of conflict because of social breakdown and instability.
“The pandemic is turning into a protracted war, and the globe is facing an unprecedented crisis. Premature opening of some countries’ economies has exacerbated recurrence of the disease,” Dr. Wen said.
He said that Covid-19 had developed as many as 40 variants, and the scientists are facing a significant challenge in tackling it. “It will take at least half a year before a vaccine is developed. Up to 1 billion people could eventually be affected, and the death toll could be seven million,” he said.
He also lamented that anti-globalisation sentiments are rising due to populism. This will lead to the rise of protectionism even though no country can ignore global problems like pandemic and climate change.
“As long as there are confirmed cases anywhere, the pandemic cannot be declared over. Countries following unilateralism ignore the common interests of humankind,” he said, adding that priority should be given to innovative new technologies that support smart cities, climate protection, and communications such as 5G networks.
Addressing the e-Forum, leading expert Ahmed Al Turbak said effective health policies should complement the right fiscal policies. “There is more scope for coordinated GCC fiscal policies. In previous crises, fiscal policies were not always appropriate as they were counter-cyclical as they cut spending during downturns,” he said.
Highlighting best practices in dealing with the aftereffects of Covid-19, Dr. Omar Al-Ubaydli, the Director of Research at Derasat, Bahrain, said the first requirement is an effective track and trace system besides comprehensive testing.
“Asian countries that experienced SARS seem to be doing particularly well. Europe’s response to pandemics is likely to improve. Overall, however, it is too early to judge the effectiveness of different national strategies,” he said.