Issue 431 February 1, 2020
The mysterious new coronavirus does not seem to abate, but spreading faster, so it seemed as we wrote this Leader.
China said that as of Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 132 had died from the virus, which is believed to have originated in the central City of Wuhan.
The number of confirmed cases rose to 5974, up from 4515 recorded the previous day.
Most of the confirmed cases have been in the Central Chinese Province of Hubei, where several cities, including Wuhan, the epi-centre of the outbreak, have been placed under what amounted to be a lockdown.
The Chinese government has imposed a mandatory curfew on more than 30 million people and it is possible that hundreds of millions more are changing their plans willingly or because they are being instructed to do so.
There is understandable fear among the people in general and those living in mainland China in particular. Countries which have their citizens in China, either on business or pleasure are doing their best to bring them back home.
Australia has said that they will be quarantined in Christmas Island, while New Zealand would provide necessary care within the country.
About the Virus
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is the seventh coronavirus known to affect people. Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
The disease has seriously affected China, which have serious implications to the rest of the world.
While the loss from tourist revenue this time of the year could be substantial, the closure of factories can cascade through the global economy.
This is perhaps time to consider India as a viable alternative for international business.
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