Author: Anand Pradhan
There is a need to spend $ 50 billion (about Rs 3.7 trillion) immediately to end the global devastation corona epidemic quickly and bring normal life, economy back on track. International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Geeta Gopinath and researcher Ruchir Aggarwal have said in a staff note issued recently that if all countries, especially rich-developed countries and other multilateral agencies, immediately raise $ 50 billion and call it comprehensive vaccination, testing If you are ready to spend on monitoring and treatment, then the epidemic can be controlled.
Rich country open vault
Gopinath has focused on three goals in his proposal and has given the details of the money required for it. As all epidemics and public-health experts are saying that the only way to end this epidemic is comprehensive and universal vaccination, Gopinath also puts the highest emphasis on achieving this goal. According to him, to combat the epidemic, 40% of the world’s population by the end of this year and 60% of the total population by the middle of the next year are required to be vaccinated. For this, they are a group of several organizations formed to provide the Kovid-19 vaccine to the poor and developing countries – immediately providing additional funds of $ 4 billion to Kovacs and raw material for the vaccine, as well as the rich countries have their own needs. More than one billion vaccine doses are advocated for the poor and developing countries.
The special feature of this proposal is that it also mentions the risks that can come in the process of dealing with the epidemic. For example, many of the reasons for delay in achieving vaccination goals include mutating the corona virus, becoming more lethal, and failing to get the vaccine to work on it, from needing a booster dose of the vaccine in the future. Different types of risks are described. In view of this, Gopinath wants to develop an additional $ 8 billion at-risk investment by early next year on the development of the vaccine’s ability to produce an additional one billion doses and the vaccine’s booster dose.
Not only this, they are in favor of a $ 3 billion investment to streamline the monitoring process of new variants of the virus and tackle any bottleneck in the supply chain of vaccine and corona test kits and medicines, etc. But Gopinath is aware that vaccination, monitoring of new mutants of virus, development of new vaccines, etc. may take time due to various reasons. She herself is pursuing the goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the world’s population by the middle of next year. Meanwhile, many countries, including India, have the challenge of dealing with extreme cases of corona infection, where the lives of millions are at stake.
Not surprisingly, Gopinath’s proposal lays emphasis on ensuring adequate availability of kits for screening corona infections and medicines for treatment (PPE, ventilators and oxygen etc.) and expansion of healthcare facilities. The biggest provision of his proposal is to spend 30 billion dollars on it. Geeta Gopinath’s proposal to end the epidemic or overcome it to a great extent is balanced and capable-e-mention despite some limitations and pressures of urgency. Its proposal to spend $ 50 billion immediately is also largely conservative. The need is more money to fight this epidemic in a complete manner, but the real question is whether rich-developed countries will open their chest even for this nominal amount of 50 billion dollars?
Economy also benefits
As Gopinath himself notes in his note, the rich-developed countries will not have to pay this $ 50 billion as a future commitment but as an immediate (upfront) expense, investment and donation of additional vaccine doses. In this, any avoidance and denial of responsibility would mean allowing the epidemic to create further devastation. It would be equally fatal for the security of the developed countries themselves. Due to this, the condition of the global economy will also remain unpredictable, which will be the biggest loss to the developed countries.
Gopinath estimates that immediately spending $ 50 billion on this three-tier strategy to end the epidemic is not only in the global public interest but will also benefit the global economy immensely. The global economy will benefit by $ 9 trillion in the event of an epidemic being overcome. Not only this, the rich-developed countries will get an additional tax income of one trillion dollars, which is 20 times the amount of 50 billion dollars they spend.
Obviously, the best economic policy is also to control the epidemic immediately. Are G7 countries ready to understand this?
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own
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