New Delhi:The death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,600 on Sunday, as the World Health Organization (WHO) praised the country’s efforts to contain the new disease, saying they have “bought the world time” and that other nations must make the most of it.France, meanwhile, reported Europe’s first death from the infection, a Chinese tourist from Hubei province, where the disease, known as COVID-19, emerged in December.The first death to occur outside of Asia was reported in France on Saturday: an 80-year-old Chinese tourist who had been receiving treatment for Covid-19 since January 25. Deaths have also occurred in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.So far, almost 9,500 patients with the coronavirus have been treated and discharged from hospitals across China, the country’s health authorities said.
There are concerns, however, that the stringent quarantine measures taken across the country may have not been enough to contain the virus’ spread — several major cities have now been on lockdown for nearly a month. On Saturday, authorities in Beijing ordered a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers returning to the city, with anyone found violating the rules subject to potential legal repercussions.
As China continues to reel under the impact of Coronavirus — confirmed cases are climbing towards 60,000, according to Bloomberg — its economy has taken a massive hit.Retail car sales fell 22% to 1.71 million units, the biggest-ever drop for the month of January, Bloomberg reported, adding that according to the China Passenger Car Association, February sales could drop 30%.The epidemic has unleashed a massive disruption of economic activity. Hubei province, which according to Bloomberg is equal to the size of Sweden’s economy, has been facing a shutdown for more than three weeks now. How will these developments impact India?
One way to look at it is to see the importance of China in India’s foreign trade. China has been India’s largest source of imports since 2004-05, shows data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) database. In 2018-19, the latest period for which annual data is available, it had a share of 13.7% in India’s total imports. Any major disruption in the Chinese economy can disrupt these imports and hence both production processes and supply of consumer goods in India.