DW News
DW News 28 Feb 2020

Coronavirus fears send global markets into freefall


Investors are on the retreat world-wide as fears of the coronavirus deepen. Supply chains are starting to falter and tourists are staying home. The virus is also sparking the sell-off of pandemic bonds. As the business community struggles to predict the coronavirus' economic fallout, observers warn the virus could be the final blow that throws the world economy into recession. The Dow Jones had its worst one day point drop in history, tumbling almost 4 and a half percent. That sentiment spilled over to Asia with Tokyo's Nikkei shedding 3 point 6 percent today. And Hong Kong's Hang Seng also closed down 2 point 4 percent.

Serious concerns have been raised that tens of thousands of seriously ill people in England may not be seeking help because of fears that they might catch the coronavirus in hospital, or be a burden on the NHS.

The number of visits to Accident and Emergency departments has fallen by more than half since the outbreak began. Doctors worry that serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes are being overlooked. There are also concerns that other treatments have had to be delayed while the NHS focuses on tackling the coronavirus

Meanwhile a new blood test which can detect whether someone has been infected with coronavirus has been given the go-ahead for use in England. The antibody test has been developed by the Swiss drugs company Roche. Frontline workers will be the first to be tested.

Scientists have called the move a very positive development. But it's not clear yet whether having been infected with coronavirus and developing antibodies actually protect against a new infection.

Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reports by Health Editor Hugh Pym and Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh.
For years there's been a growing backlash against globalisation. Now the virus has put the entire system at risk. Does the world see the pandemic merely as a crisis that needs to be mastered? Or as an opportunity? The mere fact the question is being posed shows how far the parameters of our world have shifted.
As the world economy slumps into recession what sort of system will rise from the ashes of this crisis?

A U.S. military plane carrying dozens of donated American ventilators to be used to treat coronavirus patients, touches down in Moscow, Thursday, June 4.

The ventilators are the second part of "a humanitarian donation of a total of 200 much-needed U.S.-manufactured ventilators to Russia," valued at $5.6 million, the U.S. embassy in Moscow said May 21 when the first 50 ventilators arrived in Moscow.
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The New York City Marathon, the world's largest marathon, was canceled Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials said the race posed too many health and safety concerns for runners, volunteers, spectators and others. (June 24)

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