Post-Covid: Need to balance economy and health

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Economic and medical challenges are universal and very significant. For almost three months now, nations around the world have been engaged in a full-frontal campaign to combat the ravages of coronavirus on their citizenry and economy.

It’s been an extraordinary period, one where almost 70 per cent of the world’s population has been under some form of lockdown or restrictions on their movement while, at the same time, the global economy has effectively been placed into a state of hibernation, while all but the most essential services are maintained.

The challenge now for leaders is trying to get economic activity up and running while also ensuring that the public health efforts so far will not be in vain and that returning to a normal life will not risk a second, potentially more deadly wave of infections. Essentially, it’s about striking a balance — the right balance — and it has to be done right the first time.

Here in the UAE, our Government is focused on firing up our vibrant economy while also protecting public health. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday laid out a road map for getting his back up and running again. While he wants to see as many of people returning to work in offices if they can, he also tweaked restrictions on movement but stressed that any recovery would have to depend on the transmission rate remaining low.

The lesson from Germany, however, seems to be that if restrictions are eased too soon, that transmission rate increases. Our financial and human resources need to be redirected to strengthen our medical, food and economic security through new programmes and projects.”

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