Coronavirus emerges as a new threat to the global economy

Coronavirus

The coronavirus epidemic which has spread to over 70 countries now seems to be unstoppable at the moment. It is seen to be creating a very large impact on the global economy, forcing policymakers across the world to take stringent measures to keep the economy in control. With cases of Coronavirus surging in India to over 20, the government has urged Indians to take precautionary measures.

Crux of the Matter

Impact on India
The outbreak has already disrupted businesses all over the world which are dependent on Chinese suppliers. On 3rd March, expecting coronavirus turning into a pandemic, India who is a major exporter of generic drugs restricted the export as Indian pharma companies get nearly 70% of their ingredients from China.

Restricted drugs include 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and drugs like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Tinidazole, Ordinazole, Vitamin B12, etc. If the outbreak is not controlled it might create acute shortages in medicine and drugs. But the government has urged calm and has assured the supply of adequate medicines.

Director-General of Foreign Trade released a statement which said: ‘Export of specified APIs and formulations made from the 26 APIs is hereby restricted with immediate effect and till further orders.’

Apart from this, India issued travel advisories and also canceled all valid visas of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan travelers. India has 28 cases until now and the government has issued health advisories and asked to avoid public gatherings and maintain hygiene.

Global Economic Measures

The coronavirus outbreak overseas is having a significant effect on the Australian economy at present, particularly in the education and travel sectors.

– Philip Lowe, Governor Reserve Bank of Australia

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also warned that the global economy could grow at its slowest rate since 2009 due to the virus. The G7 countries met on March 3 and pledged action to take steps to steer the economy. The G7 nations announced interest rate cuts as a move to ease the pressure on the markets.

The US Federal Reserve announced an unscheduled emergency cut in interest rates by half a percentage point on March 3 to combat the economic effects of the spreading coronavirus. Australia and Malaysia also slashed their interest rates by 25 basis points.

The bank believes the rate cut would help strengthen consumer and business confidence and keep money flowing.

– Jeremy Powell, Federal Reserve Chair

Update on the Virus
The number of new cases has declined in the epicenter China; it has reported 160 new cases. The UK government published its battle plan to tackle the virus and also warned that up to a fifth of the workforce could be off sick during a peak period. It has tested 16,659 people out of which 85 are positive. Iran reported 2336 infected people with 77 deaths whereas Italy’s figure reached 3089 cases with 107 deaths.

Curiopedia

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously known by the provisional name 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. SARS-CoV-2 has close genetic similarity to bat coronaviruses, from which it likely originated. An intermediate reservoir such as a pangolin is also thought to be involved in its introduction to humans. It is classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern originated in Wuhan, China. As of 4 March 2020, more than 94,000 cases have been confirmed, of which 7,100 were classified as serious. 82 countries and territories have been affected, with major outbreaks in Central China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. More than 3,200 people have died: almost 3,000 in mainland China and about 260 in other countries. More than 51,000 people have recovered. More Info

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