Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government on February 10 eased some restrictions on work and travel and the workers now are reportedly returning back to offices and factories. The coronavirus epidemic has already claimed 908 lives with 3,052 additional cases confirmed by health authorities taking the overall number of cases to 40,171. China’s National Health Commission on Sunday said it confirmed the new cases and 97 additional deaths mostly in Hubei province which is the largest death toll in a single day since the outbreak was detected.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation informed on Monday that it is convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The forum, to be held on February 11-12 in Geneva, is organized in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness. The forum will bring together key players including leading scientists as well as public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders pursuing 2019-nCoV critical animal health and public health research and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations.
Coronavirus has also thrown the travel industry into chaos, threatening billions of dollars in losses while keeping a million travellers at home. According to international media reports, 30 airlines have suspended services in China and nearly 25,000 flights were also cancelled. Reportedly, hotel rooms in China are largely empty and with many tourists cancelling travel to Asia while many are taking a wait-and-see approach. Asia, which attracts 75 per cent of Lunar New Year travellers, has also seen a decline even though the Chinese New Year is one of China's major travel periods.
Amid the deadly virus, Disney further reportedly said that it could lose $175 million if its parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai remained closed for the next two months. Thailand, on the hand, said that they expect to $9.7 billion in tourism income from Chinese travellers through June. Destinations further from the outbreak are also feeling the loss of Chinese tourists and many countries have banned visitors from mainland China.