Who will Pay the Cost of Covid19
It is for the experts to decide whether or not the novel Corona Virus nCoV2 was developed in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) by the team of scientists under Ms Zengli as a potent Biowarfare agent. It is though known that Chinese army PLA had asked its scientist to explore developing an effective Biowarfare agent in 2015…and WIV possibly obliged them with the new development by modifying the natural virus by a process called “gain of functions” of the nCoV2by the scientists. This is why the Chinese govt is seeking Nobel Prize for the team for their new invention which has devastated the humanity on the entire globe. However, whether their new virus came out of their lab accidentally or deliberately as a covert trial on own population, is something the Chinese know the best. Whatever be the circumstances, the PLA objective seems to have been achieved by inflicting severe losses on to the world, largely sparing own population. So, seeking the Nobel Prize for WIV and the team of scientists, could be justified for the Chinese leadership.
What could be the quantum of losses the world has suffered, is worthy of looking at. It is widely acknowledged that Dr Tedros, DG WHO was in the knowledge of this Biowarfare agent whether leaked or tried out on own population, causing epidemic in Wuhan. It is very interesting to observe that the first information about the Corona epidemic was given by the WHO at near-midnight of 04 Jan 20 from an iphone as if someone called up to the WHO chief at the midnight and instructed to make a tweet at those hours. Who could have had that type of authority over WHO, could be anyone’s guess? It is known that Dr Tedros had got the dressings on the Covid19 outbreak by none other than the top leadership…Xi Jinping himself…so unusual, in his first visit to China after the Covid19 break-out. He knew of its implications both in the political and financial terms and hence, tied the lips of WHO chief. In the coming weeks & months, Dr tedros spoke or did only the things that Xi wanted. Anyone in China who tried to leak out any information on social media or elsewhere, was made to disappear subsequently…irrespective of who they were…citizen, patient, doctor, scientist and so on.
The Chinese administration in Wuhan must have been instructed to erase all possible evidence in the coming days, weeks & months…more than a year time, during which they had refused the access to the experts to Wuhan or Virus Lab. It could be expected that the Chinese administration would already have done the whitewash on all the evidence before they brought up their ‘white paper’ in their parliament on 07 Jun 20, patting own backs in handling the pandemic.
The devastations so caused, have cost heavily on to the humanity through deaths, individual sufferings and financial meltdown of the world due to the disease inflicting severe familial & social disruptions. As of now, more than 40 lakh people have died the world over and over 18 Cr people have been infected by this virus among those who have been tested. It must be acknowledged that a vast majority of the world population have not been tested as yet. Hence, we do not know the actual numbers of the infected people. It is assumed that for every detected case, there are other four who have not been detected. The strain on the health services systems have been enormous to all, be it the advanced & rich nations or the developing & poor nations. All have suffered immensely. As looks on the surface, the rich and advanced have apparently suffered even more…be it USA, UK, Italy or many others. There were no hospital beds available for the new Covid patients in USA and UK during the peak infection. The same have been the case elsewhere too, including India in the 2nd wave. The same problems are being faced in other European nations esp after the new variant of the virus which is 70% more infectious.
All nations have to bear huge cost in terms of raising the additional healthcare services with vital life-support and emergency care. The number of the beds had to be augmented. The ICU beds and the ventilator-beds had to be increased many-folds. The Oxygen supplies invariably fell short at many of the hospitals. Many patients lost lives because of the lack of oxygen supplies. A large many hospitals were found to have unserviceable ventilators. The anti-viral drugs, the injectable steroids, the crystalloids and colloids…all fell short of the requirements. The non-specific anti-viral drugs did not show desired results. There was no time to do experiments on the human. The most of the patients went in to acute hypoxia somewhat refractory to supplemental oxygen. The complications of the post-Covid managements are a different story altogether. Many Covid cases who had apparently recovered from their ailments have subsequently succumbed. There are many unknown delayed effects yet unknown. Much younger Covid19 patients who have apparently recovered, are dying of the heart ailments. Hence, what will happen in the coming months and years, no one knows.
The huge population under lockdown had to be provided with provisions and food supplies and some support for livelihood…esp those living below the poverty lines. Costs to the national economies have been huge. The national GDPs have plunged in to negative. Most, if not all nations gone in to negative growths. Most of these come under the ambit of the national GDP but what about those who remained hungry? Those who suffered from pre-Covid or non-Covid diseases but could not go to the hospital as most of it were busy attending to the Covid patients. Many of the patients suffering from chronic diseases, Cancers, occupational and age-related diseases, died prematurely as they could not be treated in the hospitals. These deaths are not counted among the Covid but they did die in the absence of adequate medical cover to the ravaging Covid. Who will compensate them?
The individuals and families have suffered the separation during the lockdowns…of not days, but weeks and months. The near & dear who lost lives during the lockdown, could not be attended by the family members. The only son of a dead father/mother could not perform the cremation and the last rights. The forced separation of the elderly, parents, children, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters…virtually all, during the lockdowns have left a permanent scar in their minds. These scars will have enormous psychological impacts that can never be compensated in the monitory terms.
Billions of school-going children around the world have suffered the loss of education. Class-rooms & laboratories have been under idle, promotional examinations cancelled. Hundreds of millions of technical students have suffered as they could not attend their science laboratory practical and experiments because their institutions were closed. They will either be promoted to the higher classes en-mass or will be held-back in the same classes. Either of the options will have serious consequences on the psyche and the learning of the students. The scientific communities too must have suffered immensely in pursuing their R&Ds. These are the types of costs which cannot be manifest in the GDP or any other income/costs. These costs cannot be compensated in monitory terms. Most of these costs will be very dearly to the students, Professionals, Scientists and so on…not in terms of monetary losses but the lack of progress of their respective nations.
Coming back to the global losses due to corona, it will be a herculean task to assess the true loss. In brief, the losses over 2 financial years will roughly amount to the global GDP which is estimated to be around 100 Trillion Dollars. In this figure, all losses other than those few mentioned above (which cannot be assessed in financial or monitory terms) are covered. The manufacturing process has gone for a toss. The hospitality, transportation earnings have plunged miserably low. The entire revenue generation of the nations are in limbo…and this is not done yet. Covid is still ravaging…wave after wave…and the worst, the virus has started changing the strains in multiples…running to thousands. Some of these are extremely virulent, the significant ones among those being the UK, African & Mumbai variants…the latter one renamed as ‘delta variant’ is presently ravaging many nations. Even a newer ‘delta +’ variant is known to have emerged the virulence of which is yet to be determined. As the mutations are taking place the world-over, no one knows what will come the next. The next one or the next to the next may be even deadlier or lethal, who knows? It is anyone’s guess whether the vaccines available in the world will be effective over the newer strains. The final financial cost may be immense.
All these have happened because someone has apparently bio-engineered a new biowarfare agent called SARS nCoV2 and wanted to try it out on the population at Wuhan as mentioned above. This trial has seemingly gone awry, so as to engulf the entire world…something that the Chinese are vehemently trying to disprove now. If the source of the Wuhan Virus is traced to the Wuhan Lab, the Chinese will be held culpable to ~4 millions of deaths and 140-odd millions of Covid cases all over the world, and the enormous devastations that cost them fortunes in the compensations. Hence, they will do everything possible to disprove or dispel the culpability. This is why they have denied unhindered, transparent investigations.
Dr Tedros has also conveyed few weeks back that he can’t force China to agree on international Experts to investigate unhindered in Wuhan transparently, with freedom. This is cowardice…and look at the Chinese audacity…they expect Nobel Prise for their Wuhan Virus Lab…for modifying the Bat virus in to an excellent Biowarfare agent that devastated the world largely sparing the host country, China.
WHO can surely approach UNGA to request for unhindered, transparent investigation. Chinese can’t apply ‘Veto’ there but have many members under financial obligations of aids & easy loans that may compel them not to vote against them. However, far too many nations have suffered enormously, may not hesitate to vote. The UNGA resolution may have 3 clauses: -
- Was Corona Virus nCoV2 present in Wuhan Virus Lab in 2019 from where it could leak out?
- Did Chinese administration Err in preventing the spread of nCoV2 to other nations?
- Do the victims (dead & diseased) & devastated nations merit compensation?
The world must join hands in taking the perpetrator of the pandemic to the task. If this is really from the animal source with the two genomes perfectly matching, the culpability of the Chinese may be condoned. However, if it is confirmed that the virus was genetically modified, China must be made accountable for the immense grief the world is going through. However, if there is any doubt on the origin of the virus to Wuhan lab or elsewhere, no effort should be spared in tracing it. In either case, the WHO and Wuhan administrations cannot be absolved of their responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus to other nations. It is known that the Chinese continued air/sea travels and their exports much beyond the Wuhan Lockdown. WHO too took unduly long in declaring the outbreak as pandemic. Hence, the accountability of the pandemic must be decided by a neutral team.
The entire world is expectantly looking at the WHO team of the investigators of the Wuhan Virus. Whether they were hand-picked by the Chinese administration or were the best professionals in their fields, the general population does not know. They firmly believe that the WHO will fulfil their aspirations. They also believe that the pandemic has engulfed the world due to someone’s commission or omission. Hence, they hope that due compensation will be paid to them by the defaulter(s) whosoever that may be. The cost of the pandemic is immense. Each person dead due to the Covid is liable to be paid about 10-12 million dollars. Each Covid patient having suffered need to be compensated anything from $1-5 million depending upon the extent of their suffering. ICJ may decide the compensation for the psychological impacts of the lockdown, over the individuals, many sleeping hungry, the psychological trauma of having lost the livelihood, their parents/relatives having suffered, the students, the Scientists…and everyone else. As on now, the cost of the Covid in financial terms are over $150 trillion. But how many people, groups, communities have filed petition for compensations from the culprit? Very few…and that too, within own nation. How many Nations have approached international for a or the ICJ for the compensation? None.
The time is come to act unitedly against the perpetrators of the new biowarfare agent called nCoV2. Let the first step be taken towards making them pay the compensations to the world and the remaining actions will come in the subsequent course of events.