The onslaught of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has undoubtedly created a grave sense of panic and hopelessness across the globe, given the high infection and mortality rates associated with it.
High levels of tension and confusion are further fuelled by the fact that no effective treatment protocol or vaccine have been developed to stem the tide of this monster. This has resulted in the widespread prejudice and discrimination against Chinese nationals globally and, to a lesser extent, locally.
It is quite unfortunate the impact this virus has had on the world, but restraint and discernment must be employed during times of crisis.
has a population of 1.3 billion. Given the fact that this virus was newly discovered, in all fairness, there would have been no prior data, treatment plan, and public communication that could have been disseminated by China’s health and aid officials at the time of the outbreak to fully safeguard against the adverse impact.
In response to the crisis, the Chinese Government moved swiftly and took drastic measures to reduce the effects by building a hospital in 11 days. The Government also quarantined Wuhan, a city of over 11 million people, and later the entire province.
It is imperative we understand that nowhere else in the world right now is suffering more than China. According to the World Heath Organization’s latest statistics, just two months after the outbreak there were over 1,000 deaths in China with more than 42,000 cases of infections. China’s economy has virtually been shut down due to the mushrooming effects of the virus.
The Chinese stock markets have also dropped significantly, namely the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index which fell by eight per cent one week, wiping out nearly US$400 billion in value. Their auto industry is also set to lose out on the production of some one million vehicles.
China’s impact on the world is profound, there is absolutely no doubt about it. These effects have already or will shortly begin to have a ripple effect on other countries such as Jamaica if measures are not instituted to lessen its impact economically.
China is the world’s largest exporter of goods by value. I am sure that at least one in every three items used by Jamaicans is produced in China, so let us just take time to put aside our differences and pray for China during one of its most darkest and challenging periods throughout history.