UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The impact of COVID-19 on globalization Shrestha, Nistha; Shad, Muhammad Yousaf; Ulvi, Osman; Khan, Modasser Hossain; Karamehic-Muratovic, Ajlina; Nguyen, Uyen-Sa D.T.; Baghbanzadeh, Mahdi; Wardrup, Robert; Aghamohammadi, Nasrin; Cervantes, Diana; Nahiduzzaman, Kh Md; Zaki, Rafdzah Ahmad; Haque, Ubydul


Globalization has altered the way we live and earn a livelihood. Consequently, trade and travel have been recognized as significant determinants of the spread of disease. Additionally, the rise in urbanization and the closer integration of the world economy have facilitated global interconnectedness. Therefore, globalization has emerged as an essential mechanism of disease transmission. This paper aims to examine the potential impact of COVID-19 on globalization and global health in terms of mobility, trade, travel, and countries most impacted. The effect of globalization were operationalized in terms of mobility, economy, and healthcare systems. The mobility of individuals and its magnitude was assessed using airline and seaport trade data and travel information. The economic impact was measured based on the workforce, event cancellations, food and agriculture, academic institutions, and supply chain. The healthcare capacity was assessed by considering healthcare system indicators and preparedness of countries. Utilizing a technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), we calculated a pandemic vulnerability index (PVI) by creating a quantitative measure of the potential global health. The pandemic has placed an unprecedented burden on the world economy, healthcare, and globalization through travel, events cancellation, employment workforce, food chain, academia, and healthcare capacity. Based on PVI results, certain countries were more vulnerable than others. In Africa, more vulnerable countries included South Africa and Egypt; in Europe, they were Russia, Germany, and Italy; in Asia and Oceania, they were India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey; and for the Americas, they were Brazil, USA, Chile, Mexico, and Peru. The impact on mobility, economy, and healthcare systems has only started to manifest. The findings of this study may help in the planning and implementation of strategies at the country level to help ease this emerging burden.

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