By Stephen Ubanna
The 18 month old trade war between the Asian country of China and the United states of America, USA, appear to have come to an abrupt end with the outbreak Coronavirus disease, popular, Covid-19, in the Wauhan, a town in China , towards the tail end of last December. Signs that the trade war had ended emerged when Trump signed a ‘’phase one’’ trade agreement with China as the two biggest economies try to end the trade war.The deal includes , according to sources , include provisions to ‘’root out intellectual poverty , theft, forced technology transfer and increase in Chinese purchases of US goods’’.
It was not surprising that when the Coronavirus broke out in China last December, the US government threw its weight behind the Asian country to develop the vaccine for the cure of killer disease this year.
The Coronavirus, according to business watchers , had exposed the US retail supply chains to be too dependent on China. This is evident going by the fact that about 90 percent of all the footwear under $100 at retail shops in the US, are coming out of China. That much was confirmed by Terry Lundergren , a former Chief Executive Officer of Macy, a retail shop. There are indications that portions of the Chinese economy have been effectively shut down in recent time as US, patronage of their manufactured goods have dropped , thus sending a financial ripple to the Chinese Manufacturing firms.
Even Tech Companies such as Apple and Microsoft which had earlier warned about the impacts of the trade war to their business are now worst hit because of the Coronavirus out break. The retail Companies are not left out. Under Armour, which had expected not only sales decline in China because of the trade war are now witnessing shipping delays because of the Coronavirus.
Although no person has contacted the sickness in the north American country, since its outbreak last December, Trump , has said that the COVID 19, risk to the people of the US remains low. Curiously, he has appointed Mike Pence, the Vice President to be in-charge of the country’s response to the virus.
The appointment was said to have come ahead of the report from the Centre for Disease Control that one person in Northern California has contracted the sickness without travelling outside the country or having contacts with a confirmed case. This may have informed why Trump has said that he was ready to spend ’’whatever is appropriate , even it meant asking for the additional $2.5 billion in emergency funding to fight the virus.
He was said to have requested for Congress approval for a $1.25 billion in money diverted from other government programmes to fight the virus. More so, the White House Budget office was said to have also planned to move $535 million allocated for the prevention and treatment of Ebola to contain the further spread of the sickness in China and other parts of the world.
The rugged American President has told those that cares to listen that Pence would be working closely with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, and the National Institutes of Health . NIH, the Department of Homeland Security, DHS and other government agencies to Coordinate the response.
The British government may have taken a cue from the US governmen, to announce a donation of #20 million or $26 million to help fund the development of the vaccine for the cure of the virus. But Pharmaceutical experts were said to have warned that ‘’it could take a year to develop the vaccine for the cure of the virus described as having reached a’’ decisive point and having a ’pandemic potential’’ by the World Health organization, WHO.
The US NIH may have gladdened the heart of people across the world, particular, the Chinese, as it has said that they are working on a vaccine against the new deadly virus which had affected thousands of people and killed many in Asia, particular, China. Anthony Fauci, the US , Director of the National Institute s of Allergy and Infectious Disease has said that the agency in the process of taking the first step towards the development of the vaccine, noting that it would take a few months until the first phase of the Clinical trials get underway and more than a year until the a vaccine might be available .Even a group of scientists from the US and China, were also said to be at work to develop a develop a vaccine for the COVID 19.
But Drug Maker Moderna Inc, a US, based Pharmaceutical Company , was said to shipped the first batch of its rapidly developed Coronavirus vaccine to government researchers who are expected to run the first Human tests of heather the experimental shot could help to suppress the epidemic in China and other Asian countries.
As of Friday, February 24, 2020, the WHO, has said the disease had affected 80,00 people globally. The WHO also said that in mainland China alone, there had been 77, 658 reported cases and 2, 667 deaths, mostly in the central province of Mubei.
Given the search for the cure of the deadly disease and heavy budgetary allocations for research and investment on the Health secto by the Chines government r which had begun to produce results, no fewer than 12,000 people affected by the sickness were said to have already recovered. This should gladden the heart of medical expert who fear that the spread of the deadly sickness to other countries , particular, Africa, may be disasterous.
In spite of the fact that COVID 19, had originated from China, Iran and Italy had suddenly become the centre of export to other parts of the world. Take for instance, Italy which was said to have exported it to 14 other countries. The Italian government have been forced to quarantine 11 towns In Northern Italy, shut down factories and schools to forestall the spread of the sickness.
Note that the Lagos state ministry of Health, south west Nigeria, on Wednesday, January 27, 2020 confirmed the first case of COVID-9 which it did not hesitate in reporting to the officials of the Federal ministry of Health at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. The reported case, according to the ministry of Health officials was the one involving an Italian Citizen who had entered the country on Monday, February 25, from Milan, for a brief business visit. He was said to have fallen ill on Tuesday, February 26, 2020, and was quickly transferred to the state Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing.
The test conducted at the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory network for Nigeria disease control confirmed him to be carrier of the virus. The patient is currently being managed at the infectious Disease Hospital at Yaba, Lagos, a Health official said. Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos has assured residents that there was no cause for alarm as the situation is under ‘’firm control. The Samwo-Olu led All Progressive Congress, APC, government was said to have activated the state Emergency Operations Centre to work closely with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC. To respond to Coronavirus cases.
Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, the state where the factory that the Italian, who tested positive to Coronavirus had visited and the 28 persons who were said to have contact with him were said to have been quarantined. Funny enough , the undisclosed Company where the Italian had visited at Ewekoro, was said to have been shut down.
The information making the rounds was that the Company had set up two isolation centres, an indication that the officials were aware that a foreigner who a business dealing with the Company has contacted the sickness. The essence of setting up the isolation centres may have been to forestall the spread of the sickness in Nigeria. was to avoid a spread of the disease in Nigeria.
Meawhile, the Taxi driver , one Adewale Isaac Olorogun , who was said to have taken the Italian to the undisclosed Company at Ewekoro, Ogun state, was said to have disappeared into thin air , threatening to be joining public buses in order to spread the sickness across the country if the government fails to meet his N100 million demand .
The Coronavirus outbreak may have forced President Muhammadu Buhari to inform Nigerians that his Administration has committed one percent of the country’s Consolidated revenue Fund for basic health care provision fund , in line with the National Health Act.