Corona Virus: Iranians Are Dying alongside Their Economy


ICBHR– The 2019-20 Coronavirus is an ongoing pandemic disease (COVID-19) that emerged from the Chinese Wuhan, southeast of the country- the capital of central China’s Hubei province, with more than 11 million population.


In the first weeks, the novel virus rapidly spread and involved thousands of people in the region. Then after, several neighboring countries and those nations whose citizens travelled to China got themselves with confirmed positive cases of Corona. Further, the Chinese carried out the disease to other nations, including Iran where dozens of Chinese practice religious studies. Now, at the time of this writing, More than 162,948 cases confirmed, 6,085 deaths, and 76,219 recovered.


Like any other humanitarian and global crises, Iranian cases are always more bizarre. At least 13,938 contamination reports, bring Iran up to the rank of the third country where the Corona Virus has widely spread following China (80,849) and Italy (21,157). South Korea is the fourth country that affected by the pandemic with 8,162 positive cases.


Nations around the globe have tried to face the crisis in deferent ways. The Islamic regime in Iran attempted to hide the fatal situation as they concealed the outbreak in early January. China, however, was the first state that hides the challenge behind the curtain.


Today, the Corona Virus COVID-19 affects more than 155 countries and territories (of 195) around the world. Consequently, The Brent crude has been hit hard on Monday, March 9 and the price fell nearly %30 to $31,14- the biggest single fall since the start of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Experts predict it could fall even further due to the Corona outbreak and Saudi-Russia challenges. The gold price also set for the biggest drop in near seven years following the virus-led sell-off. The virus brought the stock market its worst day since 1987.

Global economy nears stagnation in the first quarter of 2020 with the Corona Virus outbreak that left businesses around the world counting costs. The virus has shaken economies as global shares took hit. The investors worry about the virus impact as it spreads outside of China. Travel and tourism industry are among the hardest hit as airlines cut flights, and people canceled business trips and holidays.


The current crisis surrounding the spread of coronavirus in Iran is a complex and multi-layered issue with political, social, health, environmental and economic consequences ranging from questions of how to sustain the economy to the notion of public trust in the government’s handling of the process. Yet with Iran already facing massive economic problems due to sanctions which is an international respond to the regimes mal- actions, mismanagement, and corruption.


Furthermore, this very tiny virus, will have destructive impact on Iran’s economy with four sides.


  • News is already emerging of the bankruptcy of many small outlets such as hairdressers, repair shops, etc. Individual service providers such as taxi drivers will also be hit and will face the risk of further economic misery. About half of the country’s gross domestic product is generated through service sectors. As such, any disruption to the flow of services and subsectors such as transportation will deal a heavy blow to the economy. According to the deputy head of the country’s chamber of commerce, every day of total closure of main businesses costs the economy an estimated $164 million.


Other negative consequences include the decline in Chinese oil purchases from Iran as well as a collapse of tourism. Domestic, regional and international tourism were among the drivers of generation of new jobs in the economy and it is evident that unemployment will rise as a consequence of the current crisis.


  • Continued disruption in trade with immediate neighbors is bound to hurt the economy deeply and also undermine the economy’s foreign exchange balance through the disruption of currency flows to and from neighboring countries. Third economic damage is caused by the fact that almost all neighboring countries have closed their borders to Iran and have stopped flights to and from the country. This will have lasting economic consequences, especially as exports to immediate neighbors have been one of the backbones of the economy under sanctions.


  • The negative consequences of the crisis were also felt on the Tehran Stock Exchange, where the market index fell 3.44% Feb 29. This trend will probably continue as a large number of well-performing companies at the exchange depend on export performance. The core problem remains that the establishment of such a scheme would create a platform for corrupt practices that would further undermine the economy.


  • And lastly, the current crisis likely will be the deepening of the rift between state and society. Experts believe that the current situation will have negative consequences.

Institute of Capacity Building for Human Rights, ICBHR. All Rights Reserved. Follow us on Twitter: @ICBHR_En

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