The new Coronavirus that started in Wuhan has now claimed the lives of over 20 people.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus is an emergency for China, but not the whole world. Despite the WHO’s comments, diseases like this always have economic consequences. The question right now is how far the virus will spread and how many it will infect.
At the moment, China has already been hit by the new disease economically. The Lunar New Year sees hundreds of millions of Chinese travel domestically and abroad. The coronavirus has already caused several major cities to be closed down. Of all the travel restrictions, the closure of Wuhan, which has the same population as London, is perhaps the most significant. The tourism industry has been the first to take a hit. However, spending on entertainment and gifts is also being affected as many are reluctant to leave their homes and partake in festivities.
Wuhan itself is a major transport hub for southern China. Trains and deliveries of packages have been the most affected. However, the industrial supply chain has also been interrupted. As a result, the prices of some products may rise.
For now, the global experience of SARS provides the most notable picture of the impact a virus like it could have. SARS was also a deadly coronavirus that began in southern China before reaching other parts of the world and killing hundreds in China and abroad.