World spent 18 trillion dollars on COVID treatment
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World spent 18 trillion dollars on COVID treatment

November 21, 2020

Expenditure likely to touch 25 trillion dollars before it comes under control

Bengaluru: Did you know how much the world has spent on COVID-19 till date? It is a whopping 18 trillion dollars  (Rs. 1,33,49,27,70,00,00,000.00).

This was disclosed by Dr. Shahid Jameel, Director, Ashoka University, at the three-day Bengaluru Tech Summit-2020 that concludes here today. 

According to him, the expenditure is likely to touch 25 trillion dollars before the pandemic comes under control.

He said COVID tests in India cost about 10 percent of a person’s income on average whereas it was just about 3 percent in the US. With the rise in Corona positive cases, cost of testing also saw a decline. The cost of COVID test was higher than the cost of the vaccine. “There is no clarity as yet on whether all the citizens will be tested and vaccinated or just injected with the vaccine once the vaccines become available.”

Socio-economic impact

Dr. Jameel said while the pandemic has posed socio-economic and cultural problems, the plague had devastated the empires two centuries back. The Spanish Flu had killed 50 million people of the one-third of the world’s population that was affected. The virus was a concept and not seen by the eye in 1920 as the microscopes came up in 1930 to study the viruses. 

Alluding to the presence of different Health Ministries in the Union Government, he said there was a need to integrate all the Health Ministries and bring them under a new Health Ministry which could be called  ‘One Health.’

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In his presentation on ‘Epidemiology and One Health,’ Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, Founder and Director, Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), Washington, D.C., noted that climate change was driving greater adaptability to higher temperature among fungal pathogens. The outbreak of fungal infections was rising due to the rise in temperatures.

Consumption of antibiotics

Referring to the increased use of antibiotics, Dr. Laxminarayan said higher consumption of antibiotics among humans result in obesity at an early age. The consumption of meat in India had proportionately increased with the rise in population over a 30-year period.

Referring to Covid-19 situation, he said the world is likely to see some population immunity in some pockets before the vaccines arrive. However, it remains to be seen how long will the immunity last.

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