Coronavirus taking an economic toll on China

The novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV outbreak has negatively impacted the economy of China and other countries worldwide. With China’s isolation from other countries and travel bans imposed, the economic toll is rippling across the world.

Many airlines have canceled flights in and out of China, with many countries imposing travel bans. Chinese residents and even foreigners who touched ground in China aren’t allowed to enter these countries with temporary travel bans.

In China, particularly in the locked-down Wuhan City where the virus started, many multinational corporations, shopping centers, restaurants, and stores have closed. In other Chinese provinces and cities, some business owners have extended their Lunar New Year holidays, with sales going down significantly.

Image Credit: FOTOGRIN / Shutterstock
Image Credit: FOTOGRIN / Shutterstock

China’s economic state

The Yuan, China’s currency, has taken a toll from the coronavirus outbreak as it fell back through the seven-to-the-dollar mark to trade at its lowest point since December.

Meanwhile, to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s central bank announced measures to protect its economy, which has forced the country to shut down its main manufacturing factories, stores, and companies.

China's financial markets plunged over 8% after reopening for the first time after the outbreak. The central bank plans to 1.2 trillion yuan (approx. $173 billion) into its economy to help ease the impact of the outbreak on the economy. The said move will make sure there is enough liquidity in the country’s banking system, providing a stable currency market.

Financial experts and analysts said that the impact of the virus could scar growth if the outbreak will last for a long period. Aside from major companies, the travel and tourism sectors of China have already taken the hit of the outbreak. The Lunar New Year celebration, which is one of the most anticipated holidays in the country, has been halted with most people spending the time at home to prevent contracting the infection.

Cinemas, shopping centers, and theme parks have closed even if it’s a peak season to prevent transmission of the virus. Certain companies have closed, and employees were advised to work at home.

First death outside China

The first death of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus has been reported in the Philippines, as a 44-year-old man succumbed to complications on Jan. 31, increasing the confirmed cases in the country to two. The man’s wife was the first confirmed case. The couple was from Wuhan City and traveled to the Philippines on Jan. 21, visiting Manila, Cebu, and Dumaguete cities.

The health officials reported that the man has shown good response to treatment and has been stable for over five days since admission. However, in the last 24 hours, his condition suddenly deteriorated, causing his death.

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and authorities are tracking the passengers in the flight where the couple boarded in their trips. Residents in the country started to clear out shelves of surgical masks as a precautionary measure to prevent contracting the virus.

“The new developments warrant a more diligent approach in containing the threats of the 2019-nCoV. The Department of Health is continuously improving and scaling up its public health measures and reminds the public to remain calm and vigilant," Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

China still fighting the deadly virus

The two hospital buildings the country started to build have been finished within the 10-day goal. The two hospitals will cater exclusively to emergency centers for coronavirus patients. The hospitals have 1,000 beds capacity. The Huoshenshan Hospital will be manned by 1,400 medical staff from the armed forces.

As of writing, the latest death toll rises to 371, with 17,205 confirmed cases of the infection, 21,558 suspected cases and 152,700 people "under medical watch". All the deaths but one occurred in mainland China.

Meanwhile, Thailand doctors said they have successfully treated one coronavirus patient with a combination of antiviral drugs. The 71-year-old patient has been treated with a combination of drugs used in flu and HIV treatments. The patient’s condition has markedly improved in just two days, with the result of the coronavirus test turning negative within 48 hours.

Beijing hospitals reported using the same drugs, which are used in patients with HIV and AIDS, but it’s unclear if the combination has been successful. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that there is no currently proven and approved effective medicines to treat the coronavirus.

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo

Written by

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo

Angela is a nurse by profession and a writer by heart. She graduated with honors (Cum Laude) for her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Baguio, Philippines. She is currently completing her Master's Degree where she specialized in Maternal and Child Nursing and worked as a clinical instructor and educator in the School of Nursing at the University of Baguio.

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