The Effect of Coronavirus on China
The strain of COVID-19, known simply as Coronavirus, started in China and has now reached a number of other countries around the world. The disease is, currently, less deadly than SARS, but spreads about as quickly as the flu, with the average reproductive rate of 1.4 and 2.5 for each infected person. The majority of the outbreak, according to the current reports, is no longer in China but the country has been hit hard.
Macao’s Quick Fix
Macao, known globally for its casinos and Western cultural heritage, was one of the regions that got off easy when faced with this new disease. At the time of writing, no more than 34 people have been infected, out of which 10 have made a full recovery. As a result of the disease, Macao shut down its casinos for 15 days in February, but they are operational again.
Ignoring the Problem
On January 9, 2020, WHO issued a statement, in which a person from Wuhan thought to have pneumonia was diagnosed with a new strain of the Coronavirus. SARS and MERS were ruled out as the diseases responsible for the patient’s condition. At the time, China made no attempt to disclose the actual number of people infected with the disease and everyone who raised the alarm was punished by the government.
One of the people silenced was Dr. Li Wenliang. On December 30, 2019, he warned his colleagues that 7 people in Wuhan displayed SARS-like symptoms. He privately warned his friends and coworkers, but within a few hours, his message went viral, causing the Wuhan police to call him in for an interview on the same day. He was warned then against spreading rumors and fearmongering. He was warned again on January 3.
Li caught the disease on January 10. China denied human-to-human transmission even as January came to a close. Due to a sudden rise of infections in this period, Wuhan was locked. The publicly reported number of infected was 198 on January 20, but it was likely much higher.
At the time of writing, according to worldometers.info, there are 586,455 confirmed cases and 26,889 deaths, out of which 81,340 infected and 3,292 dead are in China. The reason for the global spreading of the disease is the combination of poor handling of the situation, as well as people trying to circumvent the travel bans with no regard for the general public. China is still monitoring its citizens to prevent any news of the disease leaking out and contradicting the official information. One of the methods is taking down posts on social media, like Twitter and WeChat.
Tourism is one of the industries that have suffered greatly due to the outbreak, but it also caused a strain in retail, banks, and places of work. The second-largest economy in the world is taking a serious hit, as the factory output in February is significantly lower than its usual standard, due to quarantine. This will, undoubtedly, also affect the global supply chains and Chinese trading partners, as well.
To appease the global public, sellers like AliExpress have issued several Q&A sessions with various media outlets where they discuss what Coronavirus is, how it spreads, and whether people should be concerned about ordering goods online from China.