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Zimbabwe to be in hard times after corona virus

31 Mar 2020 at 07:52hrs | Views
The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China, has infected more than  a million  people and it's still counting. Its spread has left businesses around the world counting costs and realising the imminent disaster in the pipe line.

Big shifts in stock markets, where shares in companies are bought and sold, can affect many investments in pensions or individual savings accounts. The world is in limbo and the giants are clamouring this spells disaster for Zimbabwe.  

Investors fear the spread of the coronavirus will destroy economic growth and that government action may not be enough to stop the decline.

If ZIMBABWE has a functional ministry of finance they should do as central banks in many countries, including the United Kingdom, to slash interest rates.

That should, in theory, make borrowing cheaper and encourage spending to boost the economy.
Zimbabwean government must come up with coronavirus aid bill to help workers and businesses who have been bruised by the Corona virus.

While we are fighting the virus now the country must think ahead and cushion its people.
Zimbabwe's tourist industry has been badly damaged, with airlines cutting flights and tourists cancelling business trips and holidays and all ports of entry being closed.

Governments around the world have introduced travel restrictions to try to contain the virus and this has affected ZIMBABWE and shook its economy to the bone.

If the economy is not growing, that generally means no more wealth and no more new jobs.
It's measured by looking at the percentage change in gross domestic product, or the value of goods and services produced, typically over three months or a year. Zimbabwe is reliant on the other countries so is every country.

The world's economy could grow at its slowest rate since 2009 this year due to the coronavirus outbreak,
It must be realised that the fight against Covid-19 is a full-on war. China seems to have won the first battle. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Japan have also chalked up visible successes in mitigating the outbreak, no doubt owing to their experiences in dealing with the 2003 Sars epidemic. Zimbabwe on the other hand, is only just awakening from its illusions of invulnerability. As a result, the epidemic is now raging across the world and Zimbabwe not being spared. The country which suffers more is Italy, which has particularly strong economic ties to China. Northern Italy is the new Wuhan Chinese megacity where the coronavirus first emerged). With its health system  already overwhelmed, the Zimbabwean government has slammed on the brakes, shutting down the retail economy and quarantining the entire country. All shops except pharmacies and grocery stores are closed. People have been instructed to stay at home and may enter public places only for necessary shopping or commuting to work. Unfortunately public and private debt obligations (such as housing rents and interest payments) have not been suspended. Zimbabwe has not attempted to slow down the economic clock until the coronavirus dies out. It has left itself wide open for the onslaught of the hunger driven by the effects of Corona.

Globally, not all responses to the crisis have been well targeted, and others have not been strong enough. Most But, most important, all Zimbabwe need to follow China in taking direct action against Covid-19. Nobody on the frontlines should be constrained by a lack of funds. Hospital intensive-care units must be expanded; temporary hospitals must be built; and respirators, protective gear and masks must be mass-produced and made available to all who need them. Beyond that, public health authorities must be given the resources and funds they need to disinfect other public spaces. Hygiene is the order of the day. In a very rare foresight which was prophetic President Mnangagwa had declared a cleaning day every first Friday of the month. While hygiene is being controlled from the president's office there has been no visible efforts put to protect those on the frontline and boosting the testing kits. Zimbabwe only checks your temperature and makes a decision whether you should be quarantined or not. Large-scale testing of the population is particularly important but ZIMBABWE has no kit. It would seem that the nation finds it easy to buy cars for the chiefs but not testing kit. The virus shakes the whole nation and it's ripples will be felt in the long future. The identification of each case can save multiple lives but our ministry of health is actively suppressing the figures.

Surrendering to the pandemic and hiding the figures simply is not an option. It only downs the spread reality of the virus, rather than taking the steps needed to halt it entirely. The predictable overcrowding of places will soon expose the folly of such complacency.

On the economic front, a severe recession in Zimbabwe can no longer be avoided, and some economists are already calling for government to introduce measures to shore up aggregate demand. But that recommendation is inadequate, given that Zimbabwean economy has been suffering from an unprecedented supply shock. People are not at work because they are sick or quarantined but because there are no jobs. In such a situation, demand stimulus will merely boost inflation, potentially leading to stagflation (weak or falling GDP growth alongside rising prices), as happened during the 2008 when everybimportant production input was in short supply.

Worse, measures targeting the demand side could even be counterproductive, because they would encourage interpersonal contact, thus undermining the effort to limit transmission of the virus. What good would it do to give People money for shopping trips, when the government closes the shops and forces everyone to stay at home?

What is really needed are fiscal measures to save companies and banks from bankruptcy, so that they can recover quickly once the pandemic is over. Policymakers should be considering various forms of tax relief and public guarantees to help firms borrow if necessary. But the most promising option is a short-time work allowance. Better yet, it costs hardly anything, because it prevents the losses that would follow from increased real unemployment.

Believe it or not ZIMBABWE is going to be in a very precarious predicament with this virus. If the virus comes with the vigour and harshness it has now ZIMBABWE will bury tens of thousands more than those killed by cholera.

The aftermath of the Corona virus will call for the overhaul of the whole ministry of finance.
On the same hand the ministry of Health must take the bull by its hands and push for a budget which must cover the construction and renovating of hospitals.

Zimbabwe's health system resembles a dog's breakfast and must be corrected now.
All what we can do now is to put the whole nation before God and only have faith in Hod for no human being can save the nation from the ravaging virus.

It will be unwise to blame any one for this virus. It came without any fault of the human but it is beyond humanity.

Let us all brace for the hard times. Yes hard times do not kill but it is indeed hard.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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