Coronavirus Outbreak Continues to Grow
Coronavirus Outbreak Continues to Grow – Headlines were jittery this week, with growing reports of patients affected with the coronavirus. The virus originated in the highly-populated city of Wuhan, China, which also serves as a major travel hub for Southeast Asia. As of this writing, there are over 500 confirmed cases of the virus with 17 reported deaths, numbers that are likely to grow in the coming days and weeks. The spread of the virus comes at a very inopportune time, in that many Chinese nationals are set to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday, which spans from seven days to up to an entire month. Many market-watchers were reminded of the SARS outbreak back in 2002, which also overlapped with the Lunar New Year holiday and killed 774 globally after it first appeared in southern China.4 The global health system is more sophisticated today than it was in 2002, so we should expect to see more effective containment of the virus’s spread. Though time will tell. In the meantime, China has halted outbound flights and trains in Wuhan, as well as shutting down public transportation and putting the city on lockdown. But we expect the problem to get worse before it gets better.