Covid-19, the pandemic, has caused much more than the loss of lives, globally. It has dented and crippled the economy, generated widespread unemployment, challenged the healthcare system, instituted lockdowns in stagnating day-to-day lives, affected the education system, and so on. Escaping the wrath of the pandemic is an indispensable necessity, requiring global cooperation. With its humongous global impact, it has not spared any nation, from the most developed to the highly under-developed. The primary goal is to eradicate the pandemic while simultaneously ensuring collective growth and development of other countries. The rationale behind global cooperation is to prevent a second wave of the epidemic and achieve global balance and stability to reinstitute trade, tourism, and investment. This article aims to study the contribution of different institutions, organizations, and countries in combating the pandemic.
A pandemic brings with itself a sense of emergency that requires immediate address and efficient tackling. Stagnating day to day affairs by imposing a lockdown has become an expensive affair. The countries need to improve their medical infrastructure, accelerate diagnostic testing, stimulate more significant funding in public and private healthcare systems, and brace the pandemic with full preparation. Covid-19, which originated in China, has spread across borders at an alarming rate, through international migration, which makes it crucial to eradicate the pandemic at its rudimentary level all across the globe. Upon establishing the necessity of widespread eradication of the epidemic, we need to look at how such an impelling task can be necessitated through international cooperation.
International cooperation refers to engagement under the government’s leadership with national stakeholders and external partners such as other countries and international agencies in developing, implementing, and monitoring a country's development strategy. The current pandemic has affected countries, at varying degrees, implying that different states require different degrees of help and support. The World Health Organization collects data from different countries and issues guidelines and instructions in handling the pandemic through technical cooperation and research promotion, and recently recommended intense and excessive testing. It was ensued with required quarantining and isolation, followed by appropriate preventive measures to identify and contain the spread of the pandemic. In the epidemiological context, the Covid-19 crisis has spread fastest and farthest in the US and Europe, the wealthy nations that primarily fund and staff the WHO. Countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore have managed to flatten their curve depicting the number of cases and its rate of growth, through unbridled and rapid testing within the nation. This instantaneous exercise has set a precedent for the other countries victimized with the pandemic.
To conduct excessive and widescale testing, the governments require monetary resources to fund sanitizers, ventilators, hazmat suits, masks, medicines, research labs, medical infrastructure, portable beds, vaccines, supportive medication, etc. Countries with a higher population find it excessively burdening on the economy to borrow the pieces of equipment as and when they are required. Under-developed countries without an advanced medical system are facing the thrust of the pandemic. They are not in a position to manage necessary infection control, often lacking even running water and a reliable supply of soap. Bringing these health posts up to a minimum standard would be expensive. Financial obstacles also affect the ability to pay frontline Covid-19 workers like the executive staff and medical health officers. Countries are not prepared due to the reduced frequency of pandemics in modern times. Developed countries, with a robust healthcare system, are finding it difficult to contain the pandemic and have reported the most significant number of cases and a substantial mortality rate.
At this point, international cooperation plays a significant role. It can have a positive impact not only in combating the pandemic but also developing a cooperative association, which is utilitarian in the long run. Focusing on the status quo, a lot of international funding agencies like IMF, World Bank, AIIB, etc., are lending loans with a lower rate of interest and prolonged repayment period, to ensure speedy healing and reinstatement of the society and economy. Several countries have collaborated to accelerate research in the development of a cure. Countries like South Korea, Germany, the US, China, are providing RT-PCR testing to other countries. India has supplied hydroxychloroquine to the US. Remdesivir from the US, Favipiravir from Russia is being distributed amongst countries, etc.
Given the broader spectrum, apart from international cooperation, countries must take the initiative to produce indigenous testing kits, adopt a pool-sample testing method in low-risk areas, reduce funding in unwanted sectors, invest in better research, educate the people about preventive measures, develop a reliable surveillance system, accelerate contact tracing of suspects, take appropriate fiscal measures to revive the economy, develop a conductive economy to attract investments and overall not excessively rely on other nations and agencies. In a battle between life and livelihood, to sustain livelihood while simultaneously ensuring the safety and welfare of experiences, we need to work on the lines of cooperation and collective development, rather than focus on individual interest and security. All policies and measures must be directed towards tackling the pandemic and preventing further loss of lives, while concurrently providing relief to the family of the deceased Covid-19 patient. Throughout this process, humanity and compassion towards other beings must not be forgotten or neglected.
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