China Response to COVID-19
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 was first detected in the Wuhan Province of China in late 2019 but the rest of the world was not made aware of the severity of the disease or extent of the outbreak until January 2020.
As the disease spread, the Chinese Government put the entire Hubei province into lockdown. Except for key workers, the entire population was not permitted to leave their homes. What they required in terms of food etc was delivered to their homes via an army of couriers. It was not until 76 days had passed that these restrictions were lifted. The world awaits to see if a second or even third wave of transmissions will follow.
Many international commentators, analysts and others have been critical of China’s slow response and its lack of transparency both to the outbreak and in reporting accurate numbers of cases and deaths.
As the number of cases grew, emergency health and medical resources were deployed to the area and a new hospital was constructed in record time. While the management of the crisis from a health perspective can be observed, the economic support cannot easily be evaluated due to the nature of the Chinese government operations.
What can be surmised is that China is a major manufacturer to the world and exports have suffered a significant decline. According to a report by the China Enterprise Confederation 95% of companies saw revenues decline.
The impact on supply chains caused by a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing will be felt around the globe for some time. Some countries, in particular Australia, are now questioning their own sovereignty and discussing how they should become less reliant on imports especially for essential medical supplies including PPE.
While many countries were still to reach their peak in mid-April 2020, others had started to ‘flatten the curve’ and some were only just starting to identify outbreaks, it will be some time before the full impact on the global economy will be realised.