Nishant Malhotra Founder of Middle Road OPC Pvt Ltd & The middle Road platform on the evolving Sustainable Finance sector

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COVID-19 Update

“The world is a fine place and worth fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.” Ernest Hemingway

Global COVID-19 cases increased past 27 million as the pandemic continues to create havoc. India is now the second-largest country with most novel coronavirus cases and the epicenter of the pandemic. The combined cases of the US, India, and Brazil amount to ~54.2 percent of the worldwide cases as of 07 September 2020. The surge in cases is astronomical in India significantly after the recent unlock down as India registered 91,723 new cases yesterday. With inaccurate healthcare facilities with less than 3 percent of GDP allocated to healthcare, India registered a woeful decline of -23.90 percent in Q1 GDP numbers. Faced with an armed confrontation with China along the line of actual control backed by rising yields in the 10-year bond which hovers at 5.945% today, a deterrent for attracting foreign capital, risks within India are multifaceted and multidimensional. A rise in COVID-19 cases is creating problems for patients suffering from other diseases since those affected with underlying diseases including diabetes and hypertension are more susceptible to die as compared to others keeping other factors constant. Above fig in millions

A recent study conducted by the United Nations in Italy found that of those who died of a novel coronavirus in hospitals, 67 percent suffered from hypertension and 31 percent had type 2 diabetes. WHO analysis collected data from 5 regions between March to June 2020 from around the world, shares a disturbing trend in health services disruption. About 90 percent of the countries had health services disruption with low- and middle-income countries worst hit. The US officially leads the world with more than 6.4 million cases is another colossal disaster. Socially and economically torn with nationwide unrest on racial discrimination, the US has seen record unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression and skyrocketing bankruptcies. Europe which was hit the hardest in the early phase of the pandemic along with China has one the lowest growth rates of cases globally today while Africa has 1.29 million cases according to data shared by ecdc.europa.au. Oceania region has had only 30544 cases but Latin America remains a problem. Brazil leads in Latin America with Peru, Columbia, Mexico, Argentina and Chile as major novel coronavirus countries respectively in the region.

As Europe open up, there is a huge risk of rise in the cases again. Going forward, Africa remains a critical risk as more cases spread there. Although there is a discrepancy of data between WHO and ECDC on the number of cumulative cases, the pandemic has spread to 47 countries with South Africa representing 59.1 percent of the cases followed by Ethiopia and Nigeria. Parts of Africa are in civil war and prone to famine in four countries in Congo, northeast Nigeria and South Sudan and Yemen in the middle east. As Europe opens up, there is a huge risk of a rise in the cases again. Africa remains a critical risk as the power of exponential growth in cases will drive further growth in cases. Although there is a discrepancy of data between WHO and ECDC on the number of cumulative cases in Africa, the pandemic has spread to 47 countries with South Africa representing 59.1 percent of the cases followed by Ethiopia and Nigeria. Parts of Africa are in the civil war and recently UN again issued a famine warning in four countries in Congo, northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen in the middle east.

The crisis has yet again shown the vulnerabilities within the global business and social ecosystem. The micro, small and medium enterprises remain underserved even in advanced countries though some countries have been ahead of the curve in managing the crisis the world remains fragile. As the debt mounts across countries as stimulus packages are released by governments around the world to counter economic and social upheaval, the world increasing is becoming polarized with rising inequalities, social and wellbeing disruptions. If Ernest Hemingway was alive he might have wanted to leave it but it worth fighting for without a doubt.

 

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