Government Reactions and Policies in a Global Pandemic Crisis: COVID-19 Outbreak

Authors
Dr. Mohammad Nurunnabi
Dr. Francisco Bastida
Dr. Hisham Mohammed Alhawal
Dr. Enrico Bracci

ABSTRACT
Our empirical model indicates that greater CFR (death toll over infected population), greater GDP per capita and higher dependence from tourism, mean higher GDP shocks due to COVID-19. The government policy of testing infection is connected to the infection statistics, which is right, since testing areas with higher infections will prevent future deaths. Furthermore, wealthier countries are testing their citizens to a significant higher extent, which claims for a strategy of world solidarity to help less developed countries to check the clinical attack to prevent new outbreak waves. Rapid response to the outbreak would have flattened the infection curve. It was one of the keys of South Korean success. Finally, wealthier countries show more tests per 100,000 inhabitants and greater delays in setting lockdowns, maybe prompted by the fear of economic downturns: we report a positive, 1% significant correlation of 0.30 between GDP per capita and the time lag from first infection till lockdown.

Keywords: COVID-19; Government; Policy; GDP

Impact of COVID-19: How CEOs Respond to SMEs Recovery Planning in Saudi Arabia

Authors
Dr. Mohammad Nurunnabi
Dr. Hisham Mohammed Alhawal
Professor. Zahirul Hoque

ABSTRACT
COVID-19 pandemic has changed the whole world. How we run businesses, deal with customers, employees, community, and other all sorts of stakeholders in organisations and society became a challenge in times of this health crisis which has extreme ramifications for sustainable business as well as society. Businesses have been forced to find creative and innovative ways of addressing some of the great challenges facing our world resulting from COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reports on an exploratory study of the perceptions of chief executive officers (CEOs) of a sample of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia. Our purpose was to understand CEOs’ views around three key areas: a) challenges their business face due to the COVID-19 pandemic; b) the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on their businesses; and c) their recovery plans to sustain in their businesses. We conclude this paper by outlining some policy implications for SMEs and regulatory agencies in Saudi Arabia and other countries across the globe.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia; SMEs; COVID-19; Recovery Planning

The Reality Check: South Asian Countries’ Policy Responses to COVID-19 and the Impact on the Informal Sector

Authors
Dr. Mohammad Nurunnabi
Dr. Francisco Bastida

ABSTRACT
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic is felt across the globe, with developing economies and poor and vulnerable people facing particular challenges. The economic fallout from the pandemic raises the risks of a global economic recession with levels of unemployment not experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The COVID-19 has spread to 216 countries with confirmed cases of 21.54 million and confirmed deaths of 0.767 million. This study aims to explore the impact of COVID-19 of South Asian countries’ informal workers. We document that South Asia has the highest share of the informal employment among all developing regions in the world and higher than the world average of 60 per cent. Due to the lockdown of several months, the impact of COVID-19 will be devastating for millions of informal workers in South Asia. Further, the subsequent waves of COVID-19 can be enormously deadly in South Asia, because their health expenditure is lower than the world average. The governments are providing stimulus packages; however, the effective allocation of the stimulus packages is imperative to reduce poverty. One of the most important challenges of studying the economic impact in South Asia is lack of data transparency regarding informal sector and clear identification of informal sector. While it is clear that COVID-19 is causing economic disruption at unprecedented speed and scale, the actual size of its economic impact in informal sectors is still unknown.

Keywords: COVID-19; Government, policy; Informal sector; Pandemic; Labor market; South Asia

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