SOE poses challenge to businesses

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INSTITUTE of National Affairs (INA) executive director Paul Barker says the Covid-19 state of emergency (SOE) poses a challenge for businesses to start strategising their plans.
Barker said the longer the lockdown, the more economic impacts it would pose, however it was equally important to fight Covid-19.
“It depends on how extensive the lockdown is,” he said.
“It is clear that we have a wide set of rules and that are based on good evidence, and that one does not lock down those industries that we need to keep going but at the same time, the evidence that we seem to be getting is that making more of an investment upfront and trying to control it earlier on is a sound investment.”
Barker said the effectiveness of the SOE in two weeks and beyond was yet to be determined.
“If it is effective in the shorter term, then you can start lifting the restrictions.
“But you can’t start lifting it too quickly, unless you know that you have systems in place because at the end of the day, it is about saving lives,” he said.
“If the health systems in developed countries like Italy and Spain are being overwhelmed, then obviously the health systems in developing countries like PNG will also be overwhelmed.
“It is a case of balance because you need to save the economy, you need to have measures to enable the economy to pick up as soon as possible after you lift restrictions but you have to do it cautiously and carefully and we are all learning.
“It is better to take tougher actions earlier,” Barker said.

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