Oil prices and global stock markets tumbled on Monday amid concerns of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic following dramatic rise in infections in China, Japan, India and the United States.
The new outbreak is reigniting fears that the pandemic, which has already infected 8 million people worldwide and killed over 435,000, is nowhere close to end. Over the past week, several American states reported record numbers of new cases. China has imposed lockdown on 11 districts in the capital Beijing.
Back to work doesn’t mean that we can ignore the threat. Quite the contrary. We have a responsibility to be exercise more caution when going about our daily life by following to the letter all the health and hygiene precautions such as wearing face masks, frequent washing hands, exercise social distancing and avoiding unnecessary trips to crowded places
Experts cite the failure of people to adhere to the social distancing precautions as the main reason for the increasing likelihood of COVID-19 second wave, which could be deadlier than the first one that originated in Wuhan, China in December last year.
As countries reopen more economic sectors and air travel is set to resume, the responsibility of people to protect themselves and others have become the key defence against the pathogen.
Despite the possibility of a second wave of infections, resuming the economic activities seem to be a logical option to recover some of the losses incurred by the global economy. A steep economic contraction will naturally affect the ability of many countries to fund the essential battle against the virus.
Therefore, despite the increasing reports of increase in new cases in many parts of the world, governments worldwide continue to ease up most of the virus containment measures, especially in Europe and the US.
In the UAE, the situation is not different. Dubai’s government offices and private sector institutions have gone back to business with a 100 per cent work force from Sunday. Other local governments also reopened their offices although with partial number of staff.
Meanwhile, multiple medical organisations race against time to develop a vaccine. Some of those trials are set to begin in few weeks. Initial reports of lab results offer some optimism. But as the recent rise of cases show, we are a long way to declare victory.
As life steadily returns to normal amid fears of a second wave, we have a responsibility to adapt to the new reality. There is no viable option but to embrace the resumption of economic activities with extreme vigilance.
Back to work doesn’t mean that we can ignore the threat. Quite the contrary. We have a responsibility to be exercise more caution when going about our daily life by following to the letter all the health and hygiene precautions such as wearing face masks, frequent washing hands, exercise social distancing and avoiding unnecessary trips to crowded places.