A COVID-19 Severity Index

Moubarack Lô, Amaye Sy

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) qualified the Covid-19 virus, which originated in China in December 2019, as a pandemic, since on that date it had circulated across all continents and to the vast majority of countries worldwide.

Since January 2020, some countries have experienced a favourable trend (concomitantly recording a slowdown in new infections, a continuous increase in recoveries and a decrease in deaths linked to the disease), whilst others are still struggling to control the propagation of the virus and its negative consequences on the lives of the sick.

It seemed necessary to us, therefore, to build a synthetic index, which summarises the respective performances of countries in their strategy for fighting the virus. This index will make it possible at any time, to instantly estimate the severity of the pandemic in different countries. The index is calculated on a weekly frequency for 169 countries.

As of 10 May 2020, the average score for the countries in the sample is 0.74, corresponding to a globally moderate severity. Europe has an average score of 0.77 and has seen a significant decrease in severity in recent weeks. For Africa, the scores are between 0.99 and 0.30, with an average of 0.70. In America, scores range from a low of 0.34 to 0.98, with an average of 0.69, the highest level of severity in the world. Asia averages a score of 0.74. Oceania performs the best, with an average score of 0.98.

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Management: The Case of Morocco

Salim Bounou, Gmira Maha, Slighoua Mounia, Benmoussa Othmane

The resilience of States is put to a severe test in times of major crises, particularly in the face of a pandemic which places a drastic strain on economic activities, disrupts the lifestyles of citizens, weakens social systems and puts pressure on sanitation structures, to mention just a few directly negative effects. So, therefore, what is the best approach to adopt in such a scenario?

In the first part of this paper we attempt to underline the epidemiological fundamentals of SARS-CoV-2 before proposing a general model to be applied to the Moroccan case that, whilst highlighting the confinement policy measure adopted by Morocco, temporally and dynamically outlines the spread of COVID-19 through multiple simulations.

In the second part, after the first part has covered the hallmarks of the coronavirus in terms of the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the paper tackles the additional contribution of technology, alongside other measures being used (diagnosis, confinement etc), to curb the pandemic.

Several approaches , notably based on Bluetooth and GPS geolocation, are emphasised, e.g. contact tracing or proximity tracing with the aim of protecting the population on a voluntary basis, whilst guaranteeing relative or complete anonymity. This naturally leads us to the third part of the paper where we deal with social acceptability, the ratchet effect, and ethics as the underlying conditions for the use of personal data.

In short, the structured nature of this article offers original thinking on the capability of coping with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic under a multi-disciplinary prism, avoiding the usual segmented thinking model, where only one component is processed at a time, ignoring the links between different levels and perceptions, thereby reducing the chances of solving any given problem in its entirety, regardless of its complexity.

Mind the Measure: On the Effect of Anti-Dumping Investigations in Egypt

Nada Hazem, Chahir Zaki

The Anti-Dumping Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) determines when governments can or cannot respond to dumping. Indeed, the latter happens when a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it charges to its own home market. While this tool has been widely used by developed and developing countries, the literature on anti-dumping is rather scarce. Thus, this paper examines the impact of the anti-dumping measures initiated by the Government of Egypt on imports during the period 2001-2015. Our contribution is twofold. First, the paper distinguishes between the effect of anti-dumping measures on the value, the volume and the price of imports. Second, it differentiates between the investigation, destruction and diversion effects of anti-dumping measures. Our main findings show that, once the investigation is approved, whilst prices increase and quantities decrease, the latter is stronger than the former. Moreover, once the investigation is initiated, there is an investigation effect. This effect means that imports are likely to decrease during the investigation review period before the final decision of the WTO is announced. Second, anti-dumping measures have a significant destruction effect. This refers to imports coming from countries included in the investigation decreasing once the latter is approved. This decrease is even higher in the year following the anti-dumping duty being imposed. Finally, and as a consequence of the anti-dumping measure, a diversion effect is observed. This can be explained by the fact that the origin of imports will shift from countries targeted by the measure to those that are non-targeted.

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