The Coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on countries across the globe. However, the intensity of the impact is varied across the countries. Taking note of the diverse impact, world governments undertook contrasting approaches in their response to contain the pandemic and its repercussions on the public safety. At a time when most of East Asia and European countries have achieved success in containing the disease and have resumed their economic activities, countries like the US, Brazil, India and Russia are still struggling to control the surging infected cases.
Response against the Coronavirus pandemic by major and regional forces and how the impact is resolved domestically and internationally are implying significant long term geopolitical implications. World governments’ diverse responses will prove paramount in assessing their management of central levers of geopolitical power including, economy, diplomacy, military capabilities and global leadership.
COVID-19, not only resulted in the weakening of global health care systems, but the international economy also experienced its worst downturn since the World War II.
It is important to note that the ultimate geopolitical crisis will be emerging with the decision over the systematic allocation of the scarce Coronavirus vaccines, which are currently being developed by several countries. World leaders are investing billions in the development of a potential vaccine to fight the virus as well as securing millions of doses through pre-orders.
Evidently, COVID-19 has exposed the lack of international cooperation and deficit of trust among world governments in their handling of the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. While the US is not showing any signs of leading the role in enhacing international cooperation, there is a deeper fear about a shift towards an anarchist policy of “everyone for himself”. Two of the world’s biggest economies – the US and China – have been facing a fragile trade wars.
It is no doubt that Coronavirus has emerged to be one the most crucial variable in shaping multilateral relations at various regional, national, and global levels.
Therefore, it is essential for world governments to understand the pandemic as a problem of global nature which required political solutions based on international cooperation at every stage varying from multinational to local level. At the same time, it also requires free flow of scientific information and experiences among all the actors for a collaborative response.