The disastrous repercussions of COVID-19 have imposed new concepts in the field of management apart from adding to human concerns. In the past, the mainstream idea around health was that it related solely to the physical and psychological integrity of individuals; but post-corona, this will be dealt with more broadly to include the health of the economy and of human beings.
It is obvious that no sector cannot move forward without giving serious thought to health matters, especially those that depend heavily on workforces such as tourism, transportation, retail, energy and banks. Each of these have been affected by the downturn set off by low demand.
Such a qualitative shift will require all nations to allocate a sizeable portion of their budget to healthcare sector, as it is the cornerstone for the continuation of all walks of life. It is obvious that the global economy is experiencing a stalemate and awaiting favourable signals from healthcare and pharma businesses, which are making unprecedented efforts to bring things back to normal.
These efforts are being intensified to stop the deterioration and provide for a return of basic living needs, including in industrially advanced countries due to job losses and the standstill state that affected businesses and whole sectors.
Therefore, the economic recovery will depend on the flexibility of its health sector to address the consequences of coronavirus and re-develop its infrastructure to deal with any such repercussions in future. This in itself will help bring about a significant achievement for each economy.
A chance to advance
The Gulf countries are expected to be at the forefront in quickly recovering from the crisis and overcoming this dilemma, despite the negatives resulting from the presence of vast numbers of unskilled foreign manpower, as it is difficult to make them understand the necessity for preventive measures.
These nations will recover relatively quickly thanks to their historical investments in healthcare sector and strict measures that were taken during the last eight weeks. It goes without saying that the GCC’s handling of the pandemic has been exemplary, based on all available evidence.
At the beginning of the crisis and before prevention measures were taken, I landed at one of the Gulf airports, where I saw strict health measures being followed and which were yet to be taken by many other countries. Following examinations, including COVID-19 tests, all passengers were asked to sign a commitment to adhere to home quarantine with severe penalties for breaches.
Display of humanity at its best
Travellers could not exit the passport gate without a medical certificate proving they were subjected to a comprehensive medical examination at the airport. This was literally at the beginning of the crisis, and such an experience was later made mandatory in most countries.
What grabbed my attention was the courageous sacrifices being made by medical cadres. After completing the tests, one of the passengers approached a medical staff who was speaking to a four-member family. The healthcare professional asked the passenger to wait until he himself came to the passenger.
After finishing his conversation with the family, he came to the passenger saying, “I do apologize, this family shows symptoms of coronavirus, and I did not want you to get close to them…”.
It is inconceivable to imagine the altruism of a person who exposes himself to danger, in exchange for keeping others safe.
Thanks to these deeds, the GCC countries will be able to succeed to swiftly overcome the worst of COVID-19, which in turn will open the way for rehabilitating not only human health, but also the health of economies.
Thus, all members of society shall offer thanks to the brave and dedicated medical cadres and volunteers who are doing their best to protect people everywhere. We should all take our hats off for putting their lives on the line.
They even deserve financial honor in our countries to express our love and appreciation for them.
- Mohammed Al Asoomi is a specialist in energy and Gulf economic affairs.