The effects of Covid-19 pandemic






    Introduction

    Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is made up of two distinct words, CORONA and VIRUS, the former (CORONA) is a Latin word that means crown while VIRUS are intracellular obligate parasite (they are parasites that cannot survive without a living cell since they use the machinery of their host for their activities).

    Corona virus infect many species of animals, including humans and it belongs to the family known as Coronaviridae which look like a spiked ring when viewed under an electron microscope.
    The virus contains a single strand of RNA within the envelope and as a virus, it cannot reproduce or replicate without a living cell.

    The covid pandemic

    The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province and has spread globally since then. As at July 2nd 2020, statistics from the World Health Organization shows that more than 11 million cases were confirmed, more than 6 million cases have recovered, and 524,748 deaths have been recorded across 188 countries of 6 continents among the 7 continent in the world except in Antarctica.


    Covid-19 outbreak has lead to the shut-downs of many sectors of different countries affected due to the threat the disease as posed on human survival. Some countries has start reopening some sectors which we would be considering in this Article.


    This article would cover some sectors of the economy, and Nigeria would be the country under consideration although there are a lot of countries to work with.
    The unprecedented impact of Covid-19 is affecting all economies and market globally but some areas of the economy have started the journey of regaining their strength with the procedures or directives in which their operation is being carried out.


    According to Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria has recorded 27,110 confirmed cases as at July 2nd, 2020 and about 10,801 cases have been discharged and 616 deaths have been recorded in the country.


    The increasing confirmed cases of Covid-19 has really affected different sectors of the country and has lead to the limiting and restriction of religious activities, school and some other social gathering. It also leads to restriction of inter and intra state public transport even though it's obvious that 50% - 60% of all trips in most state in Nigeria are made by public transport and shared taxi.


    David Nabaro, a special adviser on the corona virus for World Health Organization (WHO), told the BBC that it's important to look at public transport to reduce the spread of the virus, especially with the fleeting contacts of people that have when travelling together. However, the WHO in its guidance on respiratory disease says that the highest risk area while on a flight is the two rows in front, behind or next to an infected person. The implication of this, with particular regard to our kind of public transport and shared taxi system are huge.


    The Effects Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Transportation.


    Transportation is one of the affected sectors of the economy, and hence a lot of things to be done to enhance the productivity of this sector in times like this.


    First, the terminals and bus stops for loading, and off loading of most transporting companies are crowded, while vehicles, especially those of the informal and semi-formal transport is overloaded with tight seating arrangement.


    It is needful that managers of transport companies, terminal operators and company/vehicle owners sanitize and disinfect the terminals, and vehicles repeatedly to help reduce the spread of the deadly virus (Covid-19).


    But now, this does not seem to be the case as most vehicle owner's and operators lack the alacrity to do the right thing due to the lack of genuine information and believe in the deadly virus spread but in order for that to be settled, NCDC needs to continue enlightening people on the deadly virus via TV programs, Radio announcement, regional and communities outreach that would enable the people know more about how to contain the spread.



    For instance, making it mandatory for passengers, vehicle operators and all other workers to wear face masks, have tissue/handkerchief, hand sanitizer to sanitize their hand and reducing the passengers carried would go a long way to help contain the spread of the deadly virus.



    There is clear chance that the different measures put in place in the wake of Covid-19 in Nigeria would help reduce the spread of the deadly virus because transportation is not an option, it is a daily necessity and arguably 60% of the population use public transport and shared taxi.


    Additionally, transportation sector contributes to the economy a lot has it helped increase Nigeria GDP to $720.241 million in the third quarter of 2019 from $642.972 million in the second quarter of 2019 and it gives 2.49 percent to nominal GDP in the first quarter of 2019. An increase from 1.85 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2018, higher than 2.05 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018. (Emmanuel John, 2019).



    The importance of transportation sector as the gateway to the economy of nation's cannot be over emphasized, especially because transportation is an essential service needed all over the world to move passengers, goods, and services with fidelity and security as its fundamental aim in delivering quality service, and a top priority for the government (the regulators) to make sure everyone working in the sector and using it in Nigeria are safe and secure.



    Covid-19 has opened a huge gap in transportation sector, and it needs to be closed urgently because of Nigeria's poor transportation system which is not well regulated and monitored. The use of motor bikes, tricycle, poor transportation infrastructure, lack of modern transport technological system in driving the sector, lack of modern transport policies, little or no attention by the government to the sector and Lack of professionalism in the sector are some areas whose gaps need to be closed for maximum efficiency, repositioning and growth of the sector.



    The existing gaps in our nation's transportation system before Covid-19 outbreak has further widened because of the pandemic and so our government needs to begin strategizing towards taking urgent steps to close the wide gap created because of the need of steady supply of food, medical supplies emergency goods with minimal delays or restrictions needed and other essential services needed to maintain a balance in our nation supply chain networks for the protection of lives and our economy at large.


    The response of the citizens of this great country after we overcome this invisible enemy (Covid-19), according to the President of the USA Donald Trump should create a new culture in our nation's transport system, especially on ways of managing the right blend of mobility options with the use of modern methods of transportation, if we are really serious in building a more synergized economy and transport sector.



    This will help us create amazing standards in our economy system and mostly in our public transport systems where there are little or no standards of examining, managing and regulating the system by the government.


    The government needs to give more attention to the transportation sector, as the amount allocated to the sector in our annual budget at the national, state, and local government levels are not really encouraging enough to make the sector outstanding with the enormous effect it yields in the increment of the country GDP.



    It is painful that the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), an independent Nigerian trade union serving the interest of the transport of workers in the road transport sector, is not being governed by people with adequate training and ideas that would yield the betterment of the union whereby the country economy would be more attractive to foreign investors.


    Though it is still evolving and improving, there are some lessons we can learn from the response of leading economies, and first world nations rapid response to 21st century agile new mobility system, through our adaptation and response to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.



    There are a lot of things to do, but some ways Nigeria's transport system can adapt to the impacts of the pandemic is by reevaluation, re-scrutinizing and restructuring some aspect of our transport system by the government, and getting more involved in its development, collaboration and partnership with more advanced transport nations, encouraging proper regulation, monitoring and professionalism, deployment of modern technology and communication systems in developing the sector enacting and generating modern policies, and also modelling it to fit our environment.


    Lastly, a critical and creative thinking groups to develop more strategies in building a more durable, profitable, accountable and globally competitive transport sector needs to be established.




    The Effects Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Entrepreneurship.


    Entrepreneurship refers to the concept of developing, and managing a business venture to gain profit by taking several risks in the co-operate world.



    Entrepreneurship has played a vital role in the economic development of the expanding global marketplace, and it's certain that every crisis brings challenges and threats to entrepreneurs, and their organizations, no matter if initiated by human behavior, natural disasters or economic mechanisms as described by Doern (2019).


    As a result COVID-19 pandemic, Entrepreneurs have to face a new reality, and a new way of doing things. This is not only a huge sanitary and health threat affecting billions of people all over the world. This is also an unprecedented downturn on the economy globally.



    For instance, the GDP point of some countries has been affected and unemployment number raised. This reveals the break-ability of our economies, and its fundamentals.


    Several Procedures (Social distancing, widespread lockdown, restrictions on travelling, movement, and social gatherings) were put in place by the governments in affected countries to abate corona virus spread and save lives.



    With this, many aspects of private and public lives had to be moved online.
    Entrepreneurs were not an exception. They had to start to move their business activities online.


    However, not everything could be solved conveniently online. Covid-19 has much influenced the entrepreneurial engagement of self-employed persons.
    Some business owners had to close their businesses temporarily as a result of the social restrictions enforced by the government; others had ensured proper precautions and guidelines are followed to run their activities.


    They also needed to find innovative solutions in aspects of their entrepreneurial endeavor as the consequences of the pandemic keep showing its ugly face.


    If the world has abruptly shifted under our eyes, the different scenarios and reality faced by people, and the society at large are not the same depending on where you are running your business today.



    More so, depending on the sector and industry an entrepreneur is into; if you are in online shopping, for delivery, video gaming or video conferencing where businesses are now booming is not the same as if you are running a business in the hotel, restaurant, retail, entertainment, or sport industries.



    These industries could take the opportunity to innovate with more digitalization and disruption
    in their business models to increase the touch points with their customers.



    Pandemics will very likely influence traditional entrepreneurial strategies for tackling business threats because entrepreneurs are fighters, optimistic and resilient. They will overcome this difficult period as they are adept with the fact that every crisis is not limitless.

    In this trying time, an entrepreneur needs 3 assets to be profitable and sustainable:

    1. Capital (Money)
    2. A specific expertise (product)
    3. A team (People)

    Conclusion

    Do not forget that during tough times or predicaments, the most disruptive, or amazing companies have been created and took off. Such as Google, eBay, after 2001 and Airbnb, Uber, Instagram, WhatsApp, after the 2008 crisis, this means there are great opportunities for people who are ready to scrutinize this crisis.




    Writer: Omoregha Peter

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