The world witnesses one of the most challenging times and difficult contradictions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, said Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz.
The contradiction is life versus livelihood, as life means to implement social distance and lookdowns to minimise infections and gain time until finding a vaccine for COVID-19, however the economy requires human connections, El Erian added in a live lecture entitled “Economic Management in the Coronavirus Era” on Thursday.
“It’s a race of dying from infection, or dying from hunger,” he said, pointing out that the pandemic has caused the worst chock to major economies, for example, European economies will contract by 10-20% and the US is expected to face 8-10% economic contraction, while developing countries will suffer much more. They will face lower commodity price, lower tourism revenues, and lower direct investments.
“Damage is already visible,” El-Erian said, noting that one in four children in the US are living in a food-insecure household. Governments are now in war against hunger, death, and economic damage. He added that the US government has allocated $6trn to contain the damage.
El-Erian confirmed that people have to realize that they may have to live differently; they may live with the virus, so there are only two ways to live with it. First, we should know how to reduce the damage of the disease. Second, we should have the ability to treat COVID-19 patient, and this means to have enough hospital beds and medical equipment.
He asserted that Egypt now has the power of technology and information accessing. The country now has the power to turn the education process upside down, instead of teachers telling the students how to think, students now can learn differently and find the information themselves.