Socio-economic Impact Of Covid-19

A lockdown may seem like a good strategy to halt the spread of coronavirus but for masses of people in developing countries it is simply not an option.

The coronavirus outbreak threatens to destroy the economies of already poor countries as they gear up to tackle a health crisis with extremely limited resources.  Lockdown is a good strategy to halt the spread of coronavirus. In the absence of treatment or a vaccine, stopping most of human contact is really the only way to stop the spread of the virus. Essentially, the less contact people have with each other, the less the virus can spread. Given the rapid spread of the virus, lockdown is necessary to bring transmission of virus down. Lockdown is an important step to flatten the curve or reduce infections and spread cases out over a longer time frame to avoid overwhelming health systems.

Since the coronavirus can spread unnoticed so easily, governments of many countries have felt the best way to ensure people have minimal contact with each other is to order full lockdowns, with people only being allowed to leave to get food or medicine, and to practise social distancing when they do leave their houses. 

Life under lockdown brings many challenges to developing and underdeveloped countries. The socioeconomic hit on poor and developing countries will take years to recover from. Pakistan is inevitably impacted by both the global and domestic developments arising from the spread of the virus. The economy was recovering earlier slowly with the help of an IMF programme. Now the process of growth could be hampered seriously leading to big increases in unemployment, poverty and hunger. 

The most vulnerable groups are self-employed daily-income earners and employees of small and medium-sized businesses. The lockdowns and the subsequent fall in the GDP could lead to unemployment of over 5 million more workers. This will raise the national unemployment rate to the unprecedented level of 14%. The number of people falling below the poverty line could be as many as 20 million, raising the number of poor in the country to almost 100 million. 

As governments impose strict lockdowns and consumers stay at home, tourism and travel-related industries are among the worst hit at sector level. The Airlines suffered a lot. 

If social distancing remains prolonged, large parts of the economy would shut down. There would be a huge cost. But the question arises in my mind that is there any other way to curb this virus except lockdown? What I think is that there is no time to waste, and the effectiveness of strict lockdown strategies cannot be underestimated

According to my point of view, until there is a curable vaccine to control or stop Covid-19, there is no way other than lockdown to stop the spread of the virus. Whether full lockdown is feasible to maintain for many months is debatable, and it is possible that some countries’ economies cannot bear its aftereffects but lockdown is only a step to control the infectious virus. 

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Fatima Tariq Written by:

Fatima Tariq, a law student at Kinnaird College for Women and a political science student at the University of Punjab. Research fellow at Insaaf Camp. Follow me at