The recent Coronavirus outbreak is one of the biggest epidemics of recent times, which has claimed more than 1,107 deaths globally as of February 12, 2020, and more than 44,138 have been infected.
The majority of the deaths have been in the epicenter of the disease, and mainland China is the worst affected among all the countries. This crisis comes amid a period of economic and developmental prosperity for China.
In fact, the country was planning to connect almost the whole world in a $900 billion ‘New Silk Road’ project. They also planned to aid 68 countries with almost $8 trillion for infrastructure projects.
All of this has been put to a halt as the country suffers one of the biggest epidemics it has faced in its history.
Economic Downfall Of China After The Coronavirus Outbreak
One of the biggest industrial nations in the world, China’s contribution to the world economy, is more than substantial.
As a matter of fact, it is one of the biggest economies in terms of GDP, with a nominal GDP of $14.14 trillion. But the recent epidemic has massively affected the economics of China. Though it should not be the first concern for the nation, it is definitely a sensitive factor to think about.
According to the BBC, China’s stocks hit the lowest in 4 years after a virus outbreak. Following the trade war between Trump’s Washington and Xi Jinping’s Beijing, the outbreak comes as another shock to the slowing Chinese economy.
The Shanghai Composite index also closed the lowest in 4 years by dropping 8%. The central bank has been taking some measures, but unless the epidemic is controlled and normal factory work can resume, the economy is sure to plummet.
Adding salt to the wound is the fact that China showed only a 6.1% growth in 2019, which was the weakest in almost three decades. The novel Coronavirus has also affected the global share, and stock market as Wall Street's S&P 500 index also dropped to the lowest point since October 2019.
Similarly, the status of workers and factories are also worse. In February 2020, factories in and around the Wuhan region have been closed. Officials have also earned the factory owners and workers not to continue working until and unless the epidemic is controlled.
As per a report from the NY Times, most of the factories in the world have been closed, and most of the workforce of the factories are also inactive.
The second week of February 2020 has shown some promise as officials claim that the recovery rate has outpaced the death rate.
Until a solid cure is found, the country will struggle to increase its economic output.
Things Could Still Get Worse: The Disease Could Infect Sixty Percent Of The World Population
In Mid-February, new cases have leveled off in China according to the state press, but others believe that China has not been honest about the exact figures of deaths and infections.
Some figures show more than 24,589 deaths and 154,023 infected, but they have not been confirmed.
If we are to learn anything from history, it is that China also lies about the figures of deaths and infections from the SARS outbreak.
In a similar fashion, various sources have claimed that the outbreak could kill 45 million people and infect up to 60% of the total world population if unchecked.
A medical official from Hong Kong, Professor Leung, has claimed that on average, one infected person could infect up to 2.5 people.
This means that more than 60% of the world population could be affected if the disease is not controlled. Some projections from Dailymail claim that the disease could infect more than 4 billion people.
Is There Hope?
New cases in China have leveled off, but this claim is highly disputed. Chinese officials have been highly criticized for not being transparent with the public and the world.
In addition to this, there are only two reported deaths outside of mainland China, and most of the infection has been contained in China.
Some Figures (As Of 12th February 2020)
The figures of the Coronavirus have been taken from Worldometer.