For almost three months now, nations around the world have been engaged in a full-frontal campaign to combat the ravages of coronavirus on their citizenry and economy.
It’s been an extraordinary period, one where almost 70 per cent of the world’s population has been under some form of lockdown or restrictions on their movement while, at the same time, the global economy has effectively been placed into a state of hibernation, while all but the most essential services are maintained.
The challenge now for leaders is trying to get economic activity up and running while also ensuring that the public health efforts so far will not be in vain and that returning to a normal life will not risk a second, potentially more deadly wave of infections.
Essentially, it’s about striking a balance — the right balance — and it has to be done right the first time.
Here in the UAE, our Government is focused on firing up our vibrant economy while also protecting public health
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday laid out a road map for getting his back up and running again. While he wants to see as many of people returning to work in offices if they can, he also tweaked restrictions on movement but stressed that any recovery would have to depend on the transmission rate remaining low.
The lesson from Germany, however, seems to be that if restrictions are eased too soon, that transmission rate increases.
Here in the UAE, our Government is also focused on firing up our vibrant economy while also protecting public health.
On Sunday too Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called for a nationwide strategy to be developed to boost economic activity and for emergency plans to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the medical sector once the country emerges from the pandemic.
He stressed the importance of enlisting the support of local, regional and international experts to help deliver solutions to help the UAE make a robust recovery from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
“New teams are required to work faster, more thoroughly and more responsively to the fast-changing daily developments,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “Our national priorities need to be reviewed to cope with the post-COVID-19 world. Our financial and human resources need to be redirected to strengthen our medical, food and economic security through new programmes and projects.”
Regardless of geographic location, the economic and medical challenges are the same — and very significant.