From U.S. Chamber of Commerce
With global cases exceeding 8 million, we’re seeing a tale of two COVID-19 stories: Some countries are grappling with a resurgence of coronavirus cases while others have declared fledgling victories against the pandemic. (Visit our Global Dashboard on COVID-19 for the latest.)
Over the past several weeks, South Asia has emerged as a new hot spot as 1.7 billion people emerge from strict lockdowns. India’s major cities have recorded spikes in confirmed cases, prompting state governments to renew restrictions on activity. With daily case counts soaring in Pakistan and Bangladesh these countries face critical shortages of hospital beds, healthcare workers falling ill, and looming food insecurity.
Latin America has also struggled to mount an effective COVID response. While Brazil captures headlines amid a rising death toll and deepening political crisis, Chile, Panama, and Peru all rank among the world’s highest in per capita daily cases. The challenges facing these and many other developing countries are stark, given the relatively low level of health system capacity and prevalence of informal work. Though lockdowns inhibit the virus’ spread, they have come at the cost of lost employment and hunger for millions.
At the same moment, a nearly COVID-free New Zealand celebrated by welcoming fans back to stadiums for the first live rugby game in months. France removed restrictions as President Emmanuel Macron declared a “first victory against the virus.”
This divergence makes it clearer than ever that recovery in countries across the globe will happen on drastically different timelines, creating additional challenges for both the business community and international institutions.
–Myron Brilliant, Executive Vice President, Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce