Economist: Crisis likely if virus not contained
(Barbados Today) With many Caribbean economies still performing below par, there are mounting fears among officials about the devastating impact the dreaded COVID-19 could have on the region’s bread and butter tourism industry and related sectors.
This warning was sounded on Monday as the University of the West Indies (UWI) hosted a Vice-Chancellor’s Forum – COVID 19: Partnering in the Caribbean’s Response.
While panellists pointed out that governments and the university were working closely with national and regional institutions to minimize the threat to the region, they agreed that should the virus, which originated in China, reach our shores, it could have devastating consequences.
Director of Economics at the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr Justin Ram warned that Barbados and other regional states were in no position to deal with a health crisis since they were already in a “tough place” economically, coupled with other developmental challenges including unemployment and a decline in population growth.
“On top of this we are likely to be dealing with a major crisis if it is not contained quickly,” warned Ram.
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