With different parts of the world reeling with the coronavirus outbreak, Taiwan is reportedly planning to spend $2 billion to reduce the impact of the outbreak on its economy that majorly relies on exports. According to reports, the government is handing out loans to small business establishments and even coupons to spend on food.
According to reports, the Taiwanese government on February 12 slashed its estimate for the economic growth in the year 2020 as the viral outbreak threatens to hit their economy. The state has reported 18 coronavirus related cases with no casualties so far. The state has also implemented travel bans in order to curb the spread of the virus.
According to reports, the Taiwanese cabinet tabled a proposal of T$14.23 billion for both its tourism and transport industries. It also included subsidies for the most impacted tourism agencies and cut in taxes for people driving tour buses. In addition to this, a loan for owners of consumer-facing businesses was also included.
According to reports, the tourism industry only accounts for two per cent of the state's GDP. Deputy research director of the National Development Council, Ming-Huei Wu said that the spread of coronavirus in China will have an impact on Taiwan's industries, adding that the impact of the outbreak would be on a smaller scale as compared to the 2003-2003 Severe acute respiratory syndrome(SARS) outbreak that claimed the lives of 37 people.
Wu further added that Taiwan's economy ministry was planning on handing out coupons to be used in departmental stores and the night markets. He said that the consumers will be able to spend and the government will be giving out discounts.
The death toll due to the coronavirus outbreak in China has reached at least 1,355 as the number of fatalities in Hubei — the Chinese province at the centre of the epidemic — more than doubled to 242. The province also reported 14,840 new cases as it revised the method for counting infections. This brings the total number of cases in China to 60,016.