Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Equity Markets Rattle As World's Richest Lose $444 Billion

International Business

Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, the equity market has been rattling as the combined fortunes of the world's 500 richest people fell by $444 billion

Written By Bhavya Sukheja | Mumbai | Updated On:

Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, the equity market has been rattling as the combined fortunes of the world's 500 richest people fell by $444 billion. First detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province of China, the virus outbreak has now spread across more than 60 countries since December 2019. The fear of the epidemic's spread has rocked the global markets in recent days. 

As per reports, the world's three richest people - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft Corp. Co-founder Bill Gates and LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault - incurred the biggest losses, with their combined wealth dropping about $30 million. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reportedly also tumbled more than 12 per cent which was the biggest five-day slide since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. Furthermore, Elon Musk, the world's 25th richest person, also reportedly rang up the fourth-largest weekly loss as shares of his Tesla Inc, slid after a steep climb to start the year. 

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According to international media reports, almost 80 per cent of the billionaires on wealth ranking is now in the red. Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison also lost $1 billion this week as the world's largest cruise-line operator held tourists abroad one of its ships in Japan, where at least five passengers have died. 

While the health officials are struggling to contain the virus, the leaders around the world have also rolled out bans on big gatherings and stricter travel restrictions as confirmed cases around the globe have now surpassed 86,000. The deadly outbreak has disrupted flight demand and several airlines have also suspended or modified services in response. Governments worldwide have stepped up efforts to halt the spread of the virus. 

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'Oxygen therapy'

In the latest situation report released on Sunday, the WHO stressed that “oxygen therapy is a major treatment intervention for people with severe COVID-19”. The report added that all countries should work to optimize the availability of “pulse oximeters” and “medical oxygen systems”.

The report further revealed that the majority of patients are adults adding that only 2.1 per cent of the total patients in China were below the age of 20 years. It stated that clinical care of patients included early recognition, immediate isolation and implementation of appropriate infection prevention and control measures. As per WHO's report, people with mild infection should be provided with “symptomatic care” and “optimised supportive care”, also those with severe disease.

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