Namibia Logistics Association

2020/04 Coronavirus and the World Economy

Coronavirus and the World Economy

The coronavirus has arrived in the most remote place of the World and 203 countries and territories are affected. Namibia has now 14 cases and South Africa 1 320. China reported 304 new cases for the week and slowly the spread of the virus comes to a standstill. Namibia is in its 6th day of a total lockdown and most people work from home. The latest cases and deaths are the following:

Table 1: Coronavirus cases – 27 January – 2 April

Region/CountryCases27 JanCases27 FebCases12 MarCases19 MarCases26 MarCases2 Apr
China4 58178 49980 79680 92881 28581 589
Europe55629 02093 292246 327490 714
Africa    1 0054 687
Rest of the World2 56923 49548 862142 800373 440
Total4 58182 183133 311223 082471 417950 430


From the middle of March the epicentre of the coronavirus has shifted from China to Europe and currently 51.6% of all reported cases are in Europe. In two weeks’ time one can expect that the US and the rest of the world will be the new epicentre. The US reported already 215 344 cases. Only 0.5% of the reported cases are on the African continent. 

Table 2: Coronavirus deaths – 27 January – 2 April

Region/CountryDeaths27 JanDeaths27 FebDeaths12 MarDeaths19 MarDeaths26 MarDeaths2 AprDeath ratio as% of cases
China1062 7473 1693 2453 2873 3184.1%
Europe141 1434 20114 14334 4067.0%
Africa    281773.8%
Rest of the World43 5861 7033 83710 3752.8%
Total1062 8044 8989 14921 29548 2765.1%


If the current trend continues the total number of deaths will be around 50 000 in a weeks’ time. Italy and Spain have today about 52% of the number of deaths reported in the whole World.

Africa was out of limelight in the beginning and Egypt reported the first cases. Slowly the coronavirus pandemic is reaching the African continent and all countries reported cases. How is the virus spreading in the SADC region? There are only 1791 cases reported in the SADC region and 23 deaths.

Table 3: Coronavirus cases and deaths in the SADC region – 2 April 2020

SADC countryCasesDeaths
South Africa1 3535
Total1 79123

The myth that the coronavirus causes just an ordinary flu and therefore it is not dangerous because worldwide last year 7 million died of pollution, only a few thousand died of the coronavirus – it is just media hype thus. About 22 000 – 50 000 people died of influenza in the USA last year, why the hysteria? This view is wildly held in social media and therefore the difference between influenza and the coronavirus is explained.

Scientific information available4 monthsMore than 100 years
Death rate1.4% – 2.9%0.1%
Virus transmission2.0 – 3.0%1.3%
Risk of infection30-70%8%
PreventionNo vaccine yetYes

Source: and New York Times

The coronavirus is dangerous because we know not enough and what is known is putting the coronavirus in a more dangerous category than influenza.

The real economic costs are spiralling and a World recession has become a reality, much worse than 2009. The World economy will move into a severe recession as the MSCI World Index (below) is signalling. The MSCI World Index consists of the stock exchange performance of 28 countries. 

   Source: MSCI Index

The MSCI index was at 2401 on 22 February 2020 and closed yesterday at 1781, a fall of 25.9%. Each country in the developed World is announcing stimulus packages and the Dow improved on Tuesday and Wednesday last week after markets were positive about the stimulus package in the US. 

The Namibian Government announced yesterday an N$ 8.1 billion stimulus package which includes N$ 800 million in VAT refunds and the settlement of overdue invoices. Those in the informal and formal sector who lost their jobs can claim a grant of N$ 750 for the three week period. The business community welcomed the stimulus package. One can only hope that the lockdown should not need a further extension as the experience was in China and Europe.

Table 3: Selected international commodity prices

Winners for Namibia  
Energy: Brent oil-47.34%-60.57%

 Source: Trading economics. 2 April 2020 

The N$ is currently trading 18.10 to the US Dollar and 19.81 to the Euro. 

Compiled by: Rainer Ritter      

2 April 2020