The lessons we learn from SARS and COVID-19

The corona virus has hit us in ways we did not imagine. Compared to SARS, this is a much more serious crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that global economic losses during this outbreak have exceeded US $ 30 billion (RM 120 billion).
China faces high local unemployment rate. Faced with the pandemic, the manufacturing industry is severely impacted, and many have shut their doors. The wave has also hit industries such as entertainment, F&B, wholesale and the service sector. Among China’s 700-million strong labour force, 6.2% are unemployed in February, which means 45million people lost their job.
Another giant—America, is also facing severe economic repercussions.
The unemployment rate in the US has reached new heights, from 3.28 million last week to 6.7 million on 2 April. We see the grave impact of this crisis, and the prospect of recovery seems gloomy.
Other strong countries in Asia such as South Korea and Japan have also implemented strict policies to control the pandemic. These policies are extremely costly, weighing down governments with massive economic liability.
Southeast Asia is also suffering from the brunt of this. Civil aviation, the railway system, F&B and tourism industries have all but grinded to a halt.
Corporates must learn from this epidemic and start implementing long-term policies. The lessons we learn from SARS and COVID-19 are enough to teach us that a virus can defeat even the strongest of economies.