COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world

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(VOVWORLD) - One year since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, it has rapidly spread to 230 countries and territories with more than 78 million confirmed cases and 1.7 million deaths. The pandemic has seriously affected global transport and supply chains and pushed many economies into recession.
COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world - ảnh 1A COVID-19 warning sign-post in London (photo: Reuters)

The coronavirus pandemic broke out in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, in December, 2019. The World Health Organization announced a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.  

The disease has paralyzed global tourism, interrupted supply chains, and forced many countries to impose lockdowns.

The COVID-19-induced global recession has been frequently compared with the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

Global economic recession

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest economic shock of the past century. In June, the IMF forecast that global GDP would be 8 percentage points lower this year than the pre-COVID-19 projections. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much greater losses than the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, which reduced global GDP 0.1%.

Many countries have suffered from low growth and high debt. The latest report of the International Institute of Finance (IIF) showed that the coronavirus crisis would push global debt levels to a record 272 trillion USD in the third quarter, and called it a “debt tsunami.”

In an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard University economists David Cutler and Lawrence Summers called the coronavirus “a 16-trillion dollar virus”.  That’s just the US’s economic loss, which has been bigger than China’s GDP in 2019 (about 14.3 trillion USD).

Almost every economy has sunk into recession and recorded negative growth in 2020.

Other dangerous consequences

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a year-end report that an additional 100 million people have been pushed back into poverty. It’s the first time the global poverty rate has increased since 1998. Food shortages have been reported in many regions and a huge humanitarian crisis is growing. A UN survey has shown that 130 million people are at risk of starvation as the pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains.

The pandemic has damaged virtually all sectors, particularly tourism, aviation, education, healthcare, and international relations.

Analysts say the pandemic has pushed US-China relations to their lowest point in many decades.

The WHO is concerned that medical advances of the past 2 decades will be lost.

The pandemic has encouraged countries to step up cooperation to produce a vaccine and minimize the economic impact.

The coronavirus has accelerated digitization worldwide and led people to rethink and improve their preventive health systems.