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COVID-19 Recovery? A Not So Happy Ending

By May 14, 2020 news

It was only last week that President Donald Trump gave hope to the nation and the whole world by rushing the FDA to authorise remdesivir as a treatment for coronavirus. Remdesivir has been clinically proven to short recovery time for seriously ill patients by four days, compared to a placebo.  

While still technically experimental medication, remdesivir received the green light by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 1, to be used for in-patients, whose blood oxygen levels fall below 95%.

Vials of remdesivir have been distributed to 13 states up to this time. However, the Infectious Diseases Society of America has forecast that the current supply of the medicine is far from sufficient as tens of thousands of people each month may need the treatment throughout the summer months.

Initially, Trump had hoped for the economic slowdown to only last two weeks, followed by a gradual recovery from the impact, caused by coronavirus. For a month after the statement, the market has been fluctuating heavily as investors are closely monitoring every step of the government. Extended shutdowns and restrictions across the country have confined new case growth for the virus, however, this came at the cost of economic and business activity.

The latest comment made by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sent the three major indices – S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite – in a steep slump, and only accelerated in the last hour of trading.  

Powell shared his insight into the “lasting damage” a deep and long decline could cause to  economic health. This indicated the lack of certainty inside the Fed regarding a quick V-shaped recovery. 

“The recovery may take some time to gather momentum, and the passage of time can turn liquidity problems into solvency problems,” Powell said during his webcast appearance with the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Powell also added that the central bank would use all of its monetary policy tools not only as a means of avoiding a financial crisis, but also to appease the risk of longer-term economic damage.

The Fed’s monetary policy tools so far include:

  • Zero interest rates;
  • Quantitative easing;
  • Repurchase agreements;
  • USD swap lines;
  • Liquidity/ capital controls;
  • Discount window;

New outbreaks in South Korea and China have been reported. China has brought back movement restrictions near its borders with North Korea and Russia. South Korea has recently seen 34 new cases in one day. The country is working to suppress the outbreak that is closely linked to bars and nightclubs in Seoul.  

Global concerns spread over the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus infections as more countries relaunch their economies.

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” said WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan on Wednesday.

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