Coronavirus triggers new measures in India as global economic woes continue

Topics Coronavirus | China | Iran

A member of the medical team takes a rest outside a hospital in Daegu, South Korea. AP
Two new cases of the Coronavirus were reported in India on Monday from Delhi and Telangana taking the overall count in the country to six as the outbreak continued battering nations across the world. The person from Delhi had travelled to Italy, while the other patient who has the infection has a recent travel history to Dubai, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said. "Both the patients had self-reported after they developed symptoms. They tested positive. They are stable and being closely monitored," he said. 

Global economis continued taking a beating during the day as COVID-19 scared investors worldwide. 

Outbreak triggers new measures, Govt urges to follow advisary

The government said that 37 people across the country have been hospitalised after they displayed symptoms of Coronavirus. The health minister urged people to avoid non-essential travel to Iran, Italy, South Korea, and Singapore. As many as 25,738 people are under community surveillance across the country, Vardhan said.

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After evacuating Indian from Wuhan Hubei provinces in China, the epicentre of the outbreak, the government is in talks with Italy and Iran to evacuate nationals. Italy is reeling under swelling cases of the coronavirus disease. Vardhan said that so far 3,217 samples have been tested out of which five tested positive for COVID-19 while reports of 23 are awaited.


Indian market suffer over fresh cases

Moments after the news broke of two new Coronavirus cases in India, benchmark index Sensex wiped out its sharp gains in the last hour of trade to close down by 153 points. Marking its seventh consecutive session of fall, the 30-share BSE barometer closed 153.27 points or 0.40 per cent lower at 38,144.02 as financial, steel and FMCG stocks tanked on growth concerns. The broader Nifty of the NSE also shed more than 400 points from its day's high and closed lower by 69 points or 0.62 per cent at 11,132.75. 

The development comes days after the benchmark indices suffered their worst single-day decline in five years over Coronavirus scare. The Sensex dropped 1,448 points, or 3.6 per cent, to end at 38,297 — the lowest close since October 14, 2019 — while the Nifty plunged 432 points, or 3.7 per cent, to close at 11,202, breaching key support levels on Friday.  

Global economy takes a beating 

Facing volatility over the COVID-19 outbreak global stock markets regained a measure of calm on Monday as hopes for a raft of global interest rate cuts to soften the economic blows of coronavirus steadied nerves and drove the US Treasury yields close to 1%, Reuters reported. Industrial activity in China shrank at a record pace, surveys showed on Monday, raising the prospect of a coordinated policy response by central banks to prevent a global recession. Fears of a pandemic pushed markets off a precipice last week, wiping more than $5 trillion from global share values as stocks cratered, marking their steepest slump in more than a decade and stoking widespread expectations of monetary easing. 

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warned the outbreak is plunging the world economy into its worst downturn since the global financial crisis. China's factory activity suffered the sharpest contraction on record in February, the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed, underlining the crippling effects of tough travel curbs and public health measures taken to contain the outbreak. That followed the Chinese government's similarly dire PMI release at the weekend, which also showed a record pace of decline.

Health officials in the United States said that a second person had died from the Coronavirus.

Epidemic to pandemic: Over 50  countries report virus cases

Over two months after the outbreak began, COVID-19 has now been reported in over 60 countries. Iran has reported 978 confirmed cases of the new virus with 66 deaths. Across the wider Mideast, there are over 1,150 cases of the new coronavirus, the majority of which are linked back to Iran. Experts worry Iran's percentage of deaths to infections, around 5.5 per cent, is much higher than other countries, suggesting the number of infections in Iran may be much higher than current figures show. The Italian government has announced a $4 billion stimulus package to help the economy cope with the Coronavirus outbreak. Infections nearly doubled in the past 48 hours in Italy, Europe's hardest-hit country as death toll stood at 34. 

Meanwhile, health officials in the United States said that a second person had died from the Coronavirus. Researchers said the virus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in the greater Seattle area. Washington state now has 12 confirmed cases. State and local authorities stepped up testing for the illness as the number of new cases grew nationwide, with new infections announced in California, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, and Washington state.

The virus emerged in Wuhan late last year and has since killed over 2900 infected more than 86,500 people, the majority in China, with most in Hubei. The province on Sunday reported 196 new infections, the first time since January it has reported fewer than 200 in a day, the National Health Commission said on Monday. After what some critics said was an initially hesitant response to the new virus, China imposed sweeping restrictions to try to stop it, including widespread suspensions of transport and extending a Lunar New Year holiday across the country.

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