What began in early January as a pneumonia outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has since been declared a worldwide health emergency. Retail Week looks at what effect the outbreak will have on retail supply chains in the region and tourism.
On January 30, the World Health Organisation declared the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus a global public emergency. According to a live tracker set up by John Hopkins University, the total number of confirmed cases of the disease stands at over 20,000 in mainland China, with over 420 deaths.
As of this afternoon, a further 194 cases have been reported outside of China across 23 countries and regions, including two confirmed cases of the disease in the UK.
The speed the virus has spread at has had a chilling effect on China’s economy, with the region’s stock index opening 9.1% down yesterday – its worst opening in 13 years, which has prompted the Chinese government to pump £16.3bn into the economy to ensure banking liquidity.
With whole provinces in a state of lockdown, flights to and from the region halted or curbed, and the number of cases growing by the hour, international retailers are scrambling to understand and address the situation on the ground.
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