The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic and How Industries Got Affected by the Outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak has caused a major disruption in businesses, stock markets, and worldwide economic activity. According to the World Health Organization, the novel coronavirus which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December has infected more than 110,000 people worldwide in at least 110 countries and territories.
The spread of the virus has been one of the biggest threats to the global economy and capital markets. Major institutions and banks have cut their forecasts for the global economy, one of the latest to do so being the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Meanwhile, coronavirus worries have shook markets around the world, with stock prices and bond yields plunging.
What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic
What is coronavirus?
As defined by the World Health Organization, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Many people infected with the COVID-19 virus will develop mild to moderate respiratory disease and recover without any special treatment being needed. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses. At this time, there are no particular vaccines or therapies for COVID-19. Nevertheless, several ongoing clinical trials are evaluating potential treatments.
Coronavirus map so far
There are now nearly 1.4 million confirmed coronavirus infections in 212 countries, and more than 81,580 people died. In many nations, the virus is spreading quickly and the death toll is still climbing-but most people are recovering from the infection. The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 2:00am CEST, 9 Apr 2020.
This is when, in many parts of the world, an infectious disease spreads quickly from person to person at the same time. The WHO said it took more than three months to reach the world's first 100,000 confirmed cases. The true figure is believed to be much higher for the number of people with coronavirus since many of those with milder symptoms have not been checked and counted.
European countries have seen sharp rises in cases and deaths, however increasing rates of infection increase expectations that strict social distancing policies can curb the spread of the virus. Italy has the highest toll in any single country in the world, with more than 17,000 deaths so far. The Spanish government, which declared an emergency on 14 March, proposed that some restrictions be lifted after Easter, including keeping non-essential staff at home.
India's government told the country's 1.3 billion people to stay home last month and in countries including Argentina, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa, there are similar restrictions on travel and social contact. Because of this, people are now roaming about far less in major cities like London, Istanbul, and New York than they were a few weeks ago.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the industries worldwide?
The spread of COVID-19 has proved to be the greatest threat to the global economy and the financial markets. Looking at the short-term effect we could see people making safer business investments. This means that there are fewer stock market transactions, a negative impact on VC funding for both existing and new fintech firms. The Fintech industry has seen a decline in transactions at all rates. Because individuals are self-isolated to defend themselves against the spread of COVID-19, they spend less than normal, contributing to a low transaction rate. In reality, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum have experienced a big dip amid the impact of coronavirus.
Telecom companies are bracing for a dramatic decline in subscription add-ons as the latest outbreak of coronavirus causes potential customers to spend more time indoors. Operators said net subscriber additions may fall by at least 2 million in March alone and may plunge further if the social isolation advisories are kept in place for a long duration. COVID-19 has infected more than 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 8,000. Telecom providers are expanding their 4G network and also trying to get consumers to switch from 2G phones to smartphones. But these plans might face a challenge as people cut back on venturing out to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Supply chain disruptions will likely have executives questioning the durability of their supply chains in heavily affected regions like China and Italy. Likewise, the pandemic has revealed risks for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment within the supply chain. Although the supply chain is always a top priority when working with consumer-facing industries, a lack of transparency in medical supply chains makes it difficult to completely measure the risk of shortages. This includes depending on China as a major supplier of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and critical medical supplies, such as protective masks.
But healthcare institutions have also begun in recent years to offshoring other roles such as HR and certain electronically accessible medical services that do not require U.S. certification from clinicians. In the case where the foreign provider of a company has stopped operations due to travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines of at-home staff, the company might not be able to carry out such accounting, HR or clinical procedures that could have negative financial and operational implications.
The world has been transformed, in a matter of months. Wuhan, China's streets are abandoned following strict lockdown by authorities. In Italy, the normally busy pubs, bars, and theatres were closed in London and people were ordered to stay in their homes. Worldwide, as the aviation industry buckles, flights are being cancelled or turned over in mid-air. It's all about controlling the COVID-19 spread, and potentially reducing the death toll.
Yet all this transition has also brought some unintended consequences. This has brought about a massive decrease in carbon emissions as manufacturing, rail networks and companies have closed down. Pollution rates across the world have reduced significantly compared to this time last year- due to the measures implemented to control the virus. Whether economies will escape the recession or not, COVID-19 route back to growth will depend on a number of drivers. These could include the degree to which demand will be delayed or foregone, whether the shock is a real spike or lasts, or whether there is structural damage, among other factors.
COVID-19: Big impact
- ILO: COVID-19 impact is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 - equivalent to 195 million full-time workers. Read More
- UN: COVID-19 impact the global economy could shrink by up to 1 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read More
- KBV Research: COVID-19 impact the demand for sanitizers, especially in healthcare institutions, is growing rapidly. Global Hand Sanitizer Market to reach a market size of $3.65 billion by 2020-2026. Read More