Coronavirus disease has recently been named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The name comes from “corona”, “virus” and “disease” with 2019, the year when the disease emerged. The death toll from Covid-19 continues to rise. The number of reported deaths in China is over 1000.
From the genetic analysis on the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, it revealed that the virus is similar to but different from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The genetic makeup is similar to the coronavirus isolated from bats
How COVID-19 spreads
Much is unknown about COVID-19, especially how it spread from animals to humans, it is believed that coronaviruses are large family of common viruses in a variety of animal species that include camels, cattle, cats, and bats. The virus can infect people and then spread from one person to another.
It spreads from one person to another in close contact about six feet apart mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, or sneezes. The droplets are then inhaled into the lungs. According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), it is unclear whether the virus is spread by touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated or have the virus on and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes.
On Wednesday 12th, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 exceeded on Tuesday`s by 14,840 bringing the number of infected cases to over 60000. This is due to changes in the way the officials are counting cases in China, Hubei Province, this is according to Weizhen Tan (CNBC). The outbreak of COVID-19 was difficult to contain since it was something different from what they knew. The symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or weakness are not specific about a disease, for the fact that many illnesses can cause such symptoms.
A chest x-ray or chest CT provides more information, although not conclusive as some patients with COVID-19 developed pneumonia and lots of things can cause pneumonia. Therefore, testing specimens from the respiratory tract for the presence of COVID-19 is an effective method. Doctors were counting patients with a positive test for the novel coronavirus, however, the test is not widely available since the virus is new and most laboratories do not have it. In addition, they are now including patients with flu-like symptoms in their count, this is likely to inflate the numbers as they try to catch more untested cases.
Hubei confirmed COVID-19 results through RNA tests. RNA carried genetic information that allowed for the identification of the organisms. But they are using computerized tomography scans or pneumonia imaging features to reveal lung infections. This new diagnostic method will help patients get early treatment.
CDC developed a new laboratory test kit for testing the patient’s specimen for COVID-19. The test kit is referred to as “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panel for testing upper and lower specimens in persons who meet the CDC criteria for COVID-19 testing. Previously, there were coronavirus test kits shipped to the US, the kits did not work as expected. However, the CDC remade some parts of the test kits after they produced inconclusive results. They are remanufacturing a reagent that was not performing consistently.
How does COVID-19 affect Global Market?
COVID-19 is damaging the economy for having a negative business impact. It is affecting everything from tourism to import and export businesses due to travel restrictions. Currently, Chinas makes up one-sixth of the global economy which has now slowed. Most manufacturers in China have shut down such as Airbus, GSK, Apple, Nike, Disney, Ikea, and others. The Chinas economy is bigger though is now weaker, the effects are being felt in commodity markets.
It has more impact, having in mind the prolonged trade war between China and the United States as the effects of COVID-19 continue to increase. The knock-on effects of the disease are the disrupted air travel to disturbed supply chains leading to a drop in commodity prices that are dampening the growth prospects.
People in Wuhan, China are now completely cut from the outside world to curb the spread of the disease. The stock markets have been highly hit and the Chinese consumption has dropped due to the outbreak. Several countries have issued a travel advisory to their citizens warning them about China, more so, some airlines suspended flights to China. Within China, the government urged its citizens to postpone traveling abroad and prohibited domestic travel.
Furthermore, the largest oil refinery in China has cut production due to shrinking fuel demand. The outbreak of COVID-19 has ripped through the manufacturing supply chains and mainly affecting the automotive industry. However, the impact of employment and production is not well established, the analysis has not been seriously done. Other countries besides China are acting rather calmly with plans being drawn on how to deal with the outbreak.
Nevertheless, if the production in China is stopped for a long time, then the international markets will be at risk of not getting the parts they need. In conclusion, economists and analysts caution that full economic fallout will depend on how well China will contain the outbreak and how return to work will be managed. Although, it is expected that China’s growth will slide sharply.
Closure of factories in China is playing havoc with international firms that depend on China for supplies. They are facing production and sourcing headaches which is likely to accelerate if the outbreak crisis is not adequately controlled. Asian tourism is also severely hit and the neighboring countries and COVID-19 effects are being felt in certain commodities markets such as crude oil and copper which China produces in large quantities.
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