Coronavirus casts long shadow over 2020 business

February 12, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Coronavirus casts shadow over 2020 business
The Coronavirus epidemic is expected to have a significant impact on the Chinese economy in 2020 even if the measures taken by the Chinese state to date control its spread.

The death toll in China continues to climb with the Chinese government putting the nationwide figure on Tuesday (Feb 11) at 1,016 people, up from 908 on Monday (Feb 10). The number of cases of infection also grew, to over 42,638. The figure for the day before was put at 40,171.

And it remains unclear whether the few confirmed cases of infection with novel Coronavirus 2019 (nCoV-2019) seen outside China represent an easily extinguished spark, or the start of global epidemic. Several technology companies are taking no chances and have pulled out of imminent events citing employee health and safety as their reasons. Intel Corp. has joined ZTE, LG, Amazon, Nvidia and Ericsson in refusing to participate or exhibit at Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona, February 24 to 27.

The GSMA, the organizers, say the event will go ahead but are enforcing a no-entry policy for any would-be attendees that have recently been in mainland China. There have been no similar pull outs from the Embedded World exhibition that takes place February 25 to 27 in Nuremberg, Germany

The fatality rate for Coronavirus is thought to be 3 to 4 percent but it remains unclear due to the long incubation period. This is somewhat lower than the rates for SARS and MERS. In the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 a total of 774 people died. But the mortality rate was 9.6 percent. For MERS the fatality rate was 34 percent.

To try and limit the spread of infection the Chinese state has moved quickly and severely with multiple cities on lock-down. But the lack of worker mobility is keeping a number of electronics and other plants idle. Having returned home for Chinese New Year holidays many workers are finding they cannot return to their city of employment.

Foxconn blocked


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