Whilst we are busy with the drama with our politicians, there has been very disturbing development with COVIND-19 virus. The above chart shows the estimated impact of the COVIND-19 virus on the growth of global GDPs. Chart source: www.statista.com
The COVIND-19 virus situation as at 27th February 2020: 2,804 dead (including 22 in Iran), 33,129 recovered and 82,171 confirmed cases. And the rate of infection gets worse with this news:-
A woman working as a tour bus guide in Japan has tested positive for coronavirus for a second time, in what authorities have said is the first such case.
The woman, who is in her 40s and a resident of Osaka in western Japan, tested positive on Wednesday after developing a sore throat and chest pains, the prefectural government said.
She first tested positive on 29 January and was discharged from hospital after recovering on 1 February, before testing negative on 6 February.
If this is confirmed, it means that there is no guarantee that once you have recovered from the COVIND-19 virus infection, you will not get the infection again. This brings up another worrying trend that will happen – the detection needs to be active 24 x7.
And over the horizon, there is more disturbing news…
First: Anyone Can Get It
Even top people in the medical organisation can get infected with the COVIND-19 virus and can die from it.
Take, for example, Liu Zhiming, the director of the Wuchang hospital in Wuhan died of the virus. Liu was a neurosurgeon and the most senior health worker known to have died as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
Another is the young Chinese doctor who postponed his own wedding to help battle the coronavirus “on the front line” has also died from the same virus.
It even impacts high ranking officials in the government – in Iran, the vice president of Iran for Women and Family Affairs, deputy health minister and an MP have all tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Second: Pandemic in Many Countries
South Korea now recorded the highest number of virus infection outside China with 1595 confirmed cases and 13 deaths. And now countries that did not see infections before are now reporting a number of infections and the number continues to increase.
California is monitoring almost 8,400 people for coronavirus and waiting for test kits – there are only 200 test kits available.
The combined situation in South Korea, Iran and Italy points to the early stages of pandemic. This means a global outbreak, with the coronavirus spreading in the community in multiple parts of the world.
In each of these countries we are seeing spread of the virus with no connection to China. The lockdown efforts in Italy mirror those that have happened in China.
The situation in Iran is especially worrying because the health authorities have reportedly said the virus has spread to multiple cities, and it appears the first case in Lebanon is linked to a traveller from Iran.
Third: Lock Down Getting Tighter
The size of complete lock down & event cancellation is increasing.
There is a big difference between self-quarantine, forced quarantine and a complete lock down. Wuhan and other cities in China have experienced all three and it is NOT something to look forward to.
Facebook has cancelled its annual F8 developers’ conference whilst Japan will close 34,847 schools nationwide to help control the spread of the new virus. The measure affects 12.8 million students.
Saudi Arabia halts travel to Mecca, Medina – the holiest sites in Islam over coronavirus fears just months ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage
Fourth: The Impact On Global Economy
Malaysia has just announced an RM20 billion economic stimulus package to boost up the economy that has been impacted by the coronavirus (and made worse, by the recent political drama).
The stimulus package includes among others soft loans & low-interest micro-credit worth RM20 billion for industries that have been severally impacted by the virus pandemic, rental discounts, deferment of taxes, cash payments and the key one – reduction of monthly EPF contribution.
On a global level, there is a downgrade of economic growth in every country in view of the pandemic:-
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva flagged the expected downgrade on Saturday during a meeting of finance officials from the world’s 20 largest economies in Riyadh.
In a statement, she said the virus outbreak would likely lower China’s economic growth this year to 5.6 per cent, down 0.4 percentage point from its January outlook, and shave 0.1 percentage point from global growth.
Last Final Say
Overall, things have not that bad in Malaysia. Credit to the Health Ministry, we had managed to slow down or rather stopped further infection in the country.
The readiness level of Malaysia is highly commendable. However, we cannot escape from the impact of the coronavirus – it is too early to see if the stimulus package recently announced will dampen the impact and by how much.
Considering the number of infection that is being reported in countries where previously there was no infection reported, one can expect that the number of infections will continue to grow. The time bomb lies in countries that lack proper infrastructure and medical facilities namely countries in Africa.