Time to start talking about Exit Strategy

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As each government gives themselves an identifiable name, the current one named itself “The People’s Government”. Additionally, the people (or at least some activists) also give the government a name when expressing opinions towards the government’s work. Here is the name for the current one from me, “the Comment Government”. 

As an analyst, I follow all the press release, interviews, announcements and reports of the government. In recent year, Facebook has become the most widely used and accessed news tool. This is evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of views and comments of government related posts and videos on social media. 

The reason why I am naming this government as “the Comment Government” is that almost all of their decision was made following the popularity of comments under their press releases and announcements. 

Closing the ports for mineral and goods exports was one of the obvious ones. Furthermore, shutting down certain local businesses and schools when we didn’t have (and still don’t have) any confirmed domestically transmission cases of COVID-19 is also another clear example. 

As one of the people who have the right to comment and propose suggestions, I would like to request the government start preparing the exit strategy from the corona-crisis instead of solely focusing on extending restrictions without validjustifications just as it set them in the first place following comments on social media. 

You may argue that we would not need an exit strategy identical to those countries that are directly affected by the outbreak, including China, US, UK, and other European countries. It’s absolutely true that we have comparativelymuch fewer confirmed cases so far. However, the length and the scope restrictions the government issued are tighter than the restriction in countries affected heavily by the disease and are likely going to be in place longer than others’. 

For example, the prime minister gave an “instruction” to Cabinet to take necessary measures to make sure to not openschools, universities and kindergartens until the next academic year, September 1, 2020. The obvious question is what is the prime minister basing such severe and prolonged restriction on? Up until now, his decisions have been largely arbitrary and unpredictable, based on mood rather than facts. As I have mentioned in my previous article, titled “Recognizing Populism”, this is a clear example of lack of justification and therefore is categorized as populism. 

An exit strategy could be different in each country depending on their situation. It needs to provide answers to questions such as when and what conditions are necessary for us toreturn to normal, which regions and businesses in the countryare affected the most, what kinds of support would be most effective and optimal in terms of state budget management, and what other measures should still be taken and until when. 

Right now the responses to COVID-19 are more unpredictable and arguably heavy-handed than the disease itself. Schools and some businesses have been closed since February 1, and we need fact-based and proportional response measures and comprehensive exit strategy urgently.

Myagmardorj Buyanjargal
Myagmardorj is a freelance writer and certified translator who holds a Bachelor of Law Degree from the National University of Mongolia and Bachelor of Science Degree in engineering in mining technology from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology.

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