The outbreak of Coronavirus: Its impact on business
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – a deadly virus is taking a toll on people in China scaring its citizens. Fears have been raised as it is spreading in other parts of the world too. Chinese are scared to leave their home, and also the government is expected to enact travel bans.
What is Coronavirus?
It is a huge family of viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds. The virus is zoonotic ie. pass on to humans through animals. This can cause common cold to more acute diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
The common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, breathing difficulties, cough or sore throat. In the most extreme case, the deadly virus leads to pneumonia, kidney failure, acute respiratory syndrome and may lead to death.
The fatal virus has raised the death toll above 130 and more than 3000 are reported to be infected in China.
Scientists are hurrying to develop vaccines to treat the virus. Currently, Inovio Pharmaceuticals has clubbed with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology to develop a potential vaccine INO-4800 to prevent coronavirus ( 2019-nCoV ).
World Health Organization will decide later which vaccine will be tested on humans.
Will it have an impact on businesses?
The widespread epidemic is now a question of worry for the world’s biggest giants as many of them are planning to halt their operations in China. The giants such as Apple, McDonald’s, and Starbucks have already raised a flag on the impact of coronavirus would have on their business.
China is one of the major revenue-generating markets for Apple. But this quarter may see a fall in its revenue. Apple has currently shut many of its retail stores and channel partners in China. Those who are operating have reduced their working hours.
Apple supplier Foxconn has taken an initiative to monitor the health of its employees by checking their temperature daily. They have also provided face masks as a preventive measure to make sure they remain healthy.
Also, this period marks the Chinese New year, which is usually a busy shopping season has seen a major drop out in sales of luxury goods.
The airline industry is facing a major setback due to the lethal virus. Many of them have stopped the operations and are refunding the full amounts to the passengers traveling to and fro from China. The travel ban is significantly impacting global businesses.
Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain has also barred its operations in more than half of Chinese retail. The company has seen a slow down in sales compared to past numbers.
Other than this, tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft have also closed their offices in China concerning the protection of its employees.
This quarter in China will have far-reaching consequences on the business world due to deadly respiratory infection. The outbreak is apparently the worst time for China.