Opening economies during Covid-19 is obviously a quantitative but also qualitative challenge. While data should be an important element of decision making, the choice should ultimately reflect how a society can best save lives and bring economic gains.
How long can an economy survive without allowing international flights in and out? Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the world has all but shut its doors. If, before the pandemic, more than 100,000 flights were taking off on any given day worldwide, the number of scheduled flights has been down by over 60 percent over the past few months. This has helped contain the coronavirus, but it has also led to enormous economic losses, especially for the aviation industry and the tourism sector. The social pressure has also mounted for separated families and friends that are eager to see each other again.
Our dashboard for Vietnam is available on daily and weekly basis. These links both are dynamic and inter-active, in the sense that they are being automatically updated and users can slide across their periods of interest. They show the evolution of our three factors since end December 2019.
Our dashboard also allows policy makers to monitor the situation over time. If we compare our results above with those obtained on June 25 (Figure 3), Korea remains a prime candidate for reopening, but not China. This is because China’s number of reported Covid-19 cases has increased as well as its mobility restrictions – reflecting the recent outbreak in Beijing and the associated measures adopted by the authorities. By contrast, Thailand has risen in our ranking, as it continues to be relatively Covid-19 safe (only 12 reported cases in the five prior days) and has reduced its mobility restrictions. It is worth noting that Japan has also become an option, not only because of its economic importance for Vietnam but also because of its decrease in Covid-19 cases and mobility restrictions in recent weeks.
Opening economies during Covid-19 is obviously a quantitative but also qualitative challenge. While data should be an important element of decision making, the choice should ultimately reflect how a society can best save lives and bring economic gains. We hope that our proposed methodology demonstrates how big data analysis can contribute in responding to this critical challenge. This work was supported through the Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership – Phase 2 (ABP2).
The article was reprint from World Bank Blogs .