The coronavirus is edging closer to global pandemic status. Meanwhile, Wall St's confidence slides, the global tourism economy takes a hit, and serious questions emerge about the level of preparedness of major countries.
By the numbers
- For the first time since the start of the outbreak, there are more new cases of COVID-19 outside of China than in, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.
- According to the latest figures (they change by the minute), 81,322 have been infected worldwide, with 2770 deaths.
- The reported mortality rate is dramatically higher in Iran (14%) than elsewhere (about 1% globally and 2% in Wuhan), but this could be because of reporting problems.
- Despite worldwide spread, China has reported an 80% drop in new cases over the last two weeks -- but experts warn this figure may be a result of new recording practices, and a product of Xi Jinping’s desire to restart the economy.
- After initially brushing off fears, investors are getting spooked. On Monday, the S&P 500 fell over 3%, its worst single day slide in two years, while European stocks have fallen nearly 7% in the last week.
- Risk analysts Moody’s Analytics yesterday predicted a 40% chance the virus would evolve into a global pandemic, making a global recession likely.
- Tourism has already taken a hit -- visitors to France have fallen 30-40%, airlines are anticipating a $28 billion loss in revenue this year, while countries in South East Asia reliant on Chinese tourists are expected to lose $3 billion.
Reaching new ground
The spikes in COVID-19 cases in Iran and Italy have led to the spread of the virus into new countries.
A Brazilian man returning from a business trip in Italy has tested positive, the first known case in all Latin America. In the last 24 hours, Georgia, Norway, Romania and Algeria all recorded their first cases.