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Wed 5 Feb 2020 10:21 AM

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Video: Coronavirus and its global economic impact

A fifth person in the UAE has been diagnosed with the coronavirus but don't worry. The person is stable and under medical care.

Today I am going to break down the symptoms, preventions and treatments as well as the global economic impact of the coronavirus.

First, what is the coronavirus?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus linked to the outbreak of respiratory illnesses first detected in Wuhan, China. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, early cases were linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, indicating it was originally spread animal-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Mainly fever, cough and shortness of breath and may appear in as few as two days or be dormant for up to 14 after exposure.

How does it spread?

Person-to-person when respiratory droplets land on a patient when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to prevent being infected?

There is no current cure to 2019-nCoV but the CDC offered the following tips to prevent getting infected:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What to do if you catch the infection?

  • Seek medical care right away avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Considering the sheer scale of the virus - 10,000 people infected worldwide, with over 200 mortalities reported as of January 31, 2020 – the global economic impact is not really negligible.

China’s increasing share of the global economy coupled with its growing integration in global supply chains means a slowdown in China stemming from the virus.

Back in 2003, when SARS hit the Chinese economy, the global fallout was limited. The country’s weight in global growth at that time was a modest 4%, compared with the 17% share of global GDP today. Fears surrounding the outbreak may cause a behavioral shift and impact travel and tourism globally. Chinese tourists have driven sustained growth in travel across Asia, having increased from 2% of the total number of tourists in 2002 to 9% in 2017.

Goldman Sachs believes the fast-spreading coronavirus will knock 0.4 percentage points from annualised growth in the US over the first quarter of 2020, as Chinese tourism to the US dips and exports of American goods to China take a hit.

With eight key regions and two cities in China subject to closure of non-essential business until at least 9 February, the significance of the epidemic is beyond doubt.

(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)