Coronavirus: It’s high time for G20 to replace defence priorities with healthcare


Muhammad Faisal Ali Ghumman

The year 2020 will remain a haunted year for living souls on earth in years and decades to come. Why? The pandemic like ongoing coronavirus has struck the globe after some decades with such a blow that the entire world has almost shaken on all fronts.

The number of cases is also most touching 18 million mark with 685,000 deaths worldwide with more to come. The overcrowded hospitals and medical centres in countries like the United States have forced us to believe that where do we stand right now to cater to the growing healthcare needs of almost 7.5 billion global population.

Despite strong realization and commitment after each such pandemic in the last few decades that the world countries would prioritise health facilities, no such practical measures have been taken by majority countries except some western countries.

Talk about World War I and II, Cold War, Iran-Iraq war, Russian-Afghan War, separation and freedom movements, dozens of battles between two enemies, growing regional conflicts and ones finds heavy investments in defence technology and weapons by majority countries in the few decades.

Provision of health facilities to masses always remained a question mark on the healthcare budgeting of states and now unbridled corornavirus and depleting medical resources even in the most developed countries like US and UK are an eye-opener for the world.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) too seems helpless in tackling the pandemic apparently because of lack of medial expertise, financial resources and non-cooperation of the states.


Despite passing at least five months and heavy exercise of COVID-19 vaccination preparation attempts by majority of countries there is still no breakthrough. Nobody knows at what time a proper vaccine will be available to fight new disease. New vaccination also means the people are going to pay more and more from their pockets to the companies.

Though the corona pandemic is not at historically large scale like Spanish Influenza deaths in the previous century, but the recent spate- that has turned to deadly in US, Brazil, Spain, Italy and some other countries- has almost paralyzed the world economy, tourism, travels, businesses, trades, jobs, education and even family lives.

All countries either are revising down or have reduced their domestic economies’ estimates and defence budgets because of social distancing. The international financial and health institutions have also stepped into urging investments in healthcare by all countries.

As coronavirus is typically a dangerous epidemic in the 10 years of the 21st century the new challenge involves both the international system and public polities to impose a new regular solution. The states are at a critical juncture of public management  order and global governance.

It’s time for all big and medium size economies of the world to get a bitter lesson from this pandemic and bring paradigm shift towards healthcare systems by investing more on health rather militaries.

Lets get rid of habit of promoting more conflicts by investing more on defence and less on social sectors as now it’s the survival of humanity and new World Order to save humans from disasters!

Faisal Ghumman 1

–The writer is Editor, Ex-Editor Daily The Business and Ex-Correspondent Daily Dawn 

He can be reached at [email protected]

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