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Globalization Of Epidemics: COVID-19

It is likely that COVID-19 would severely affect the world economy with no exception to India.

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1586866155_IlIYj9_Coronavirus.jpg

Steger defined globalization as a set of social processes that transform our present social condition of weakening nationality into one of globality. The world has become more globalized today and the process of globalization is irreversible. It has created vast opportunities in diverse sectors of the economy on the one hand, however, adversely affected billions of lives on the other.  

The Pandemic declared by WHO due to COVID-19, has raised the eyebrows of the opponents of globalization. The statistics by the WHO validate that more than 18 lakhs of people have been confirmed positive of Coronavirus that caused more than 1.13 lakh deaths throughout the globe. It is indeed a moment to applaud partly since more than 4.5 lakh of lives have been saved. These figures are alarming and need to rethink- how this fatal virus spread throughout more than 213 countries, areas or territories from Wuhan, capital of Hubei province of China?  

As par the official data by the government of India, more than 10,000 (8988 active cases) of corona positive cases have been confirmed, out of which 339 deaths have been reported. Some 1035 lives have been saved till date. WHO South-East Asia Regional Director applauded India’s steps to contain COVID-19. The government of India declared total lockdown of 21 days till 14th April 2020 to facilitate effectual social distancing by staying at home. The measures include an extension of basic to critical public health measures to detect, isolate and quarantine the masses to contain the spread of coronavirus. The Prime Minister of India while addressing the Nation on 14th April, suggested measures to further fight against this deadly disease and announced to extend nationwide lockdown till 3rd May 2020. However, the government also announced for partial relief for essential economic activities after 20th April based on monitoring and evaluation of the COVID-19 affected regions. 

It is likely that COVID-19 would severely affect the world economy with no exception to India. We are in the clutches of an economic crisis that would end up in an economic recession. The global economy has been hit badly and the economies have been severely fighting on twin fronts - lives and livelihoods. Jobs and salary are uncertain and the poor people are fighting for two square meals. The workers in the unorganised sector and daily wage-labourers are comparatively more vulnerable in the current situation. Even, in the post-pandemic period, these are the people with most badly affected. 

Globalization ensures more connectivity of people with the world through socio-economic and political integration and cultural assimilation. Now, this pandemic has proved that we are in the era of ‘globalization of epidemics’. Some NGOs and political and economic experts perceive globalization as a threat to national integrity and sovereignty since it dilutes cultural characteristics and diversities through assimilation and deculturation. However, the spread of COVID-19 provided clear evidence to believe that not only we imported goods, services, and technology but also diseases. 

In the aftermath of a pandemic, there arises a need to address the issues in a timely and more concerted effort. The world should be ready to work on the twin goals of reviving the economy as well as containing the spread of any such disease in the future. COVID-19 has revealed that the developed and industrialised countries of the world have failed to contain this pandemic. Therefore, developing countries like India can play a more proactive role in the world economic order. Developed countries should learn lessons from the Indian experience at the times of crisis. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Dr Kumar Gaurav

The author is PhD from Indian Institute of Technology Patna (IITP) and currently works as Assistant Professor and Head - Deptt of Economics, SN Sinha College, Magadh University

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