Struggle To Tackle Covid-19

The latest on Covid-19: 192 Countries and Territories around the world have reported a total of 339,036 confirmed cases, a death toll of 14,698 deaths. However, the actual numbers may be much more, as there are few countries that either have no capacity or hiding deliberately. The number of confirmed cases is based on tests, which is rather expensive and some of the countries cannot afford to test every suspect. Even in most developed countries like the US, UK, EU, it is not possible to test every individual.

Pandemic is not new to human beings, the recent outbreaks like SARS, MERS, Ebola, are known to us very well. Few of them were very lethal as the fatality rate was rather high. Although there is no cure, medicine or vaccine for Covid-19, yet, but fortunately the fatality rate is rather low.

China set a benchmark to defeat Covid-19. The life is resuming to ward normal routine almost. China implemented complete lockdown and limited social life. The Chinese government and the public were on the same page and work closely to defeat the outbreak. While the rest of the world was bashing China, blaming China and passing derogatory remarks, but China did not pay any attention and focused on only to wing against Covid-19. Finally, they achieved their goal and now China is helping other countries.

The major hurdle in most of the countries is; lack of awareness, lack of seriousness, and politicization. Developing nations and underdeveloped countries are facing financial constraints and cannot afford the expensive tests, expensive health care and consequences of complete lockdown. The developed countries and advanced nations, may not face financial constraints, but personal freedom, human rights, and casual attitudes are major hurdles.

The fatality rate varies from country to country, between 2 to 9 percent. Depending upon the economic situation, general public health, and health care facilities, cultural, social values and politics. Eastern Cultures and Western Cultures having their own merits and demerits, also have a big impact on the fatality rate.

It is a new virus, and still under study and research. Scientism is struggling to formulate medicines and develop vaccines. Any country, who can make this breakthrough may serve humanity to save precious lives as well as may gain huge economic benefits. Every country is in this race and working in isolation to reach the destination before others. I believe collective efforts, collaboration among leading scientists may prove helpful.

Although at this moment the worst case in Italy, but few other countries like Iran, France, Spain, UK, and the US are also vulnerable. If appropriate measures are not taken immediately, I am afraid, no one will be safe in any country. The virus does not differentiate between rich or poor, ethnicity, race, and religion. We must confront this challenge collectively, without any discrimination. Developed and advanced countries may play a bigger role to rescue precious lives around the world. We must forget politics and differences, but respect humanity only.

As a proven experience in China, we may use Chinese practices as guidelines. Fortunately, China is willing to share its experience and already helping Italy, Iran, Pakistan, Spain, and many other countries. China is providing medical equipment like Ventilators, Masks, Sanitizers, and Testing Kits, etc.

Media should play its due role as panic and fear witnessed in few countries. It is time to be very active, brave and fight with full force & confidence. Panic and fear might impact adversely. The media should project true picture, and facts. Avoid fake news and misinformation, especially on social media. Media may also educate people, create awareness and constructive recommendations.

It is a purely humanitarian issue and must be handled on a purely humanitarian basis.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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One Comment
  1. samir sardana

    The Pakistan COVID model is praised by none other than Larry Summers

    He says that USA would have saved Trillions,had it followed the Pakistan Model !

    COVID is an opportunity to re-orient the manufacturing strategy,of Pakistan

    1st some basic facts.

    1stly,there is no material requirement of Pakistan,whose complete import can swing international prices,or create temporary shortages or warrant preniums.Thus,besides the Agri,defense and Nuke industry,no other industry is strategic.Until there is cross border
    wheeling of power,from the North Pole to the South Pole,power will have to be produced in Pakistan – although that can also imported, at a far cheaper rate from Iran.

    2ndly,when a nation makes some product,which can be imported at a far cheaper rate,it is essentially FORCING the users of that product,to pay a higher price,in the Billions of USD,so that other citizens of the importing nation,can be employed in those factories, and their supply chains.This is a conscious decision to keep humans occupied,and living from cheque to cheque,TDS to TDS,home loan to car loan etc.Else,people will revolt or be captivated and captured,by demagogues.Of Course the consumers,paying the higher price,have to clue about this sacrifice – as they are also,slaves to some car loan ponzi.

    3rdly,Economies of Technological scale (based on latest technology that maximises yield and throughput and reduces wastages,losses, power and material requirement) will always exceed, by a huge margin,the economies of labour scale (which relies on technology,which leverages large numbers of low to medium paid labour).Exception is the Pakistan sports industry,which is labour driven and exports soccer balls etc.But that is because,no one is APPLYING HIS MIND, to Robotics in that area, and handcrafted products,are commaning a premium price,TODAY.Ultimately ROBOTS will take over,as there is no competition to 24 hours service (and no ESI and PF and Medical and other staff costs)

    4thly,No matter what Pakistan does,no agri output produced by Pakistan,will have a COST OF PRODUCTION AT MANDI,which is even LESS THAN 150% of the CIF price of the imported product at KPT.In the future,USA and PRC (ignoring Africa),will be able to produce the ENTIRE FOOD OUTPUT,OF THE HUMANS AND ANIMALS AND SEA LIFE,at a cost, less than half of current costs, and in a time span of less than half,of what is takes today. However, the farmers have to be OCCUPIED and kept HAPPY,as else,they can overthrow any state, and easily get radicalised. The FACT is that,7 Billion humans COULD get food,at less than a fifth of the current prices (NOT COSTS),and double the quantity,that they eat today.They are suffering, to ensure that the farmers of North America, South America,LATAM, Russia, Australia are kept HAPPY,and that the farmers of INDIA do not hang from the trees and create a revolution. On principles of evolutionary perfection,farming is viable ONLY in nations with large land tracts and LOW DENSITY OF POPULATION.India is NOT in that GRID.PRC is in that grid,as it can CREATE LOW DENSITY OF POPULATION,AND ALSO,CREATE LARGE LAND TRACTS – as it is ruled by the CCP.

    Fiftly,Unlike the Technology Exports services,all service sectors,hinge upon manufacturing. Manufacturing drives all else.Even a Technology Export sector,has to have a domestic anchor – which is contingent upon Manufacturing.A manufacturing plant brings to life,a society and its eco-system,and over few decades leads to large wealth creation,which primarily begins from land and real estate prices and ends with bank credit.So unlike the Isle of Man – there are no Manx companies in Pakistan – and so,manufacturing is critical.

    So the Manufacturing Strategy,has to be created within the above pentagonia,based on the competitive and comparative advantages of the raw material supply chain NSIDE Pakistan – as also,the ECONOMIC costs of the raw materials,which are NOT AVAILABLE, INSIDE PAKISTAN.

    The Manufacturing Matrix in Pakistan

    Option 1 – The Pre-Requisite

    Captive Raw Materials – For Captive Raw Materials in the Agri and Mining Sector,the State has to support the complete value addition of the product,near the source.These 2 cordinates,combined with Tax Holidays,will make it a viable venture,for any Foreign Capitalist – subject to Politiical Risk.Take the Sugar sector – for Political Risk – and so, only Pakistani Politicans,can set up Sugar Mills.

    However, one needs to be practical here. Just because Pakistan has the best Cotton in the world (along with long staples, from Egypt),does not mean that yarn or fabric units, will be viable in Pakistan. Large Technologies of Scale, allow imported raw material from the Moon (like Helium),and still be viable. So there is no harm in exporting the cotton or some minerals. If the same technologies of scale, were set up in Pakistan – it will involve large capital costs – and would accentuate the financial and politcal risk,of the project. And if it sinks,it will doom the Pakistani Banks (like in India).

    Pakistani Capital should be used where Pakistani has an exceptional edge,like in the Cement Sector (with complete maaterial and logistics integration).Another example is the Agri Processing,Foos and Agri Waste Insustry.These also provide large scale employment,as they have extensive supply and value chains.

    Option 2 – Strategic Leverage

    Some Manufacturing is required as a strategic leverage,to ensure that Pakistan is not coerced, in pricing,in international procurements. Therefore,there have to be sufficient capacities,in some critical sectors,like steel,oil,food,fertilisers etc. Howvever, this is an offset,to procurement price risk.If there is a Force Majeure event or a Trade embargo – then,there will be no raw material imports,in any case – and the fertiliser plants etc,will be mothballed.

    Option 3 – Manufacturing Hydrogen for the Balloons

    So let us say,you have floated a billion balloons,by importing hydrogen – and now, the balloons are used,for entertainment,space travel and advertisements. Next Step,is to manufacture the Hydrogen.Just like Pakistan,is sponsoring the manufacture of mobile phones and accessories,in Pakistan to STOP their imports,as it is a waste of USD and much cheaper to make.Just like the Auto sector,it is an assembly operation – and so,the capacities are modular for the phones and their parts.At any stage,of the manufacturing, any process can be outsourced to PRC,at any time,by IMPORTING the interemediate products.

    Thus,there is large scale employment – with impact on entrepreneurship and tax revenues and FX savings and reduction in economic costs.

    The Crux is to LET THE PRIVATE SECTOR EXPAND THE BALLON (THE MARKET).LET THEM USE ANY MEANS (SMUGGLING ETC.).Then when the supply chain,logistics,servicing,spares,maintenance,skilled and unskilled labour value chain,is in place – BRING IN MANUFACTURING OF THE PRODUCT.

    Option 4- Manufacturing to Stop Smuggling

    There are several imports into Pakistan where the market is highly matured and seasoned.No one likes to pay import duty.The Philosophy is,that the importer has spent time and monet to locate and hide the supplier,and is giving JOY to 200 million people,by selling cheaper and attractive products.If you travel to Yiwu or Guangzhou, you will find Pakistanis relabelling their cargos (to be shipped),so that competition CANNOT trace the supplier.They stuff the container far away from the port – drive it to the port – seal the container – and then,track it on GPS sites ! There is a large group of the Pakistani traders – as they carry large amounts of cash (which has to be stored and guarded) – as the suppliers are paid in cash – and since,there is no insurance or underinsurance, there is a lot of tension in the supply chain.

    So Y Should they pay Import Duty ?

    However,after the market in Pakistan,is seasoned and matured – the Pakistani state should ban imports,and allow manufacturing.The same importers can bring in the Chinese,as a JV into Pakistan.For FMCG and Consumer Goods,like Toys,Stationery etc.,all the raw materials, which are used in PRC,are available in Pakistan.Labour Cost in China is 10 times that of Pakistan.It is simple Maths

    But the real gain is that – IT WILL BOOST GOVTT REVENUE.As the manufacture will leave a forensic trail,from power meters to pollution,and so,the state will earn large revenues which were lost before,and also save FX.

    Option 5 – Manufacturing Intermediation

    If you look at the state of pollution and effluents, in Karachi – it is a BAD and SAD situation. However,that is what has led to the COVID immunity in Pakistan.So the Good news just does not end.But this poisoning of the air,water,food,fish and meats – will take an incalculable toll on the intellectual,spiritual,social,sexual and physical evolution of Pakistanis.

    Therefore,it is time to OUTSOURCE pollution,using Manufacturing Intermediation,by carrying out Manufacturihg from Intermediates. Hence,Pakistani manufacturing should use imported intermnediate products – wherein,all the poison,effluents and pollution,are in the exporting nation.PRC has the effluent treatment and waste recovery plants and dump sites on a scale,cost and technology,WHICH NO NATION IN THE WORLD HAS (not even the USA – as the USA,imposes a TAX,on storage of Hazardous Cargos).Of course,then COVID breaks out – but then,the PRC export it,and recover all the costs,of the effluent treatment.dindooohindoo

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