Half of China’s factories still closed

In China, the world’s second largest economy, the wheels of production are trying to get back to work due to pandemic protection measures. But the measures that Chinese authorities have imposed on companies to protect the world’s population from the new coronavirus Covid-19 indicate that production may not return to normal as quickly as expected. Local authorities in China are requiring company owners to stockpile at least ten days’ worth of masks for their employees before factories can reopen. US investment bank Morgan Stanley announced that they predict that China can only grow by 3.5 percent in the first quarter. “If the epidemic is not brought under control quickly, the Q1 growth of the Chinese economy could fall as low as 3.5 percent,” the bank’s client note said. According to the bank’s analysis, as of last week, production in China could only rise to 30 to 50 percent of normal levels. By the end of the month, this level is expected to rise to 60 to 80 percent.

Production in electronics at 30 percent capacity

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced the start of production at its factory in Tianjin, China. “While we are implementing all necessary health and safety measures, our production will only increase gradually,” the company said in a statement. Last week, Volkswagen announced the partial start of production at only one of its 15 factories across China. General Motors has said it will gradually open more than ten of its factories, while Hyundai hopes to start production in China this week. Honda’s plan for its China plant is to start work on February 24. Three of the four Toyota factories that worked two shifts before the outbreak have started work with one shift. iPhone maker Foxconn is expected to reach 50 percent of its pre-pandemic production by the end of this month. Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, CEO of Instrumental, which monitors the quality of production in the electronics industry, told the New York Times that in consumer electronics, only 30 percent of factories were operational as of last Friday.

G-20: Pandemic a risk to growth

Financial leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies (G20) expect a moderate recovery in global economic growth this year and next, but note that the Covid-19 pandemic poses a downside risk. “After signs of stabilization in late 2019, global economic growth is expected to recover moderately in 2020 and 2021. The recovery is supported by continued accommodative financial conditions and some signs of easing in trade tensions.” In parallel with the developments, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to express their support.

Chinese train travel drops 48 percent

Chinese railway operators announced that a total of 210 million trips were made during the New Year season (February 10-18), which was disrupted by the epidemic this year. Xinhua news agency stated that this corresponds to a 46 percent decrease compared to last year. A total of 118 million train tickets were returned free of charge from January 21 to February 18. According to the World Tourism Organization, three years before the SARS outbreak, Chinese tourists’ overseas spending was only $10 billion, but by 2018 it had reached $277 billion. Asian economies are the top destination for Chinese tourists. On the Indonesian island of Bali, 40 thousand hotel reservations were canceled. Thailand expects the number of Chinese tourists to decrease by 2 million. Countries’ travel restrictions and quarantine measures are also hitting Chinese tourist numbers in the European tourism scene. The canceled fair in Barcelona alone cost 100 thousand visitors. In Paris, which receives 800 thousand visitors from China every year, Galeries Lafayette, the most important stop for luxury consumption, is also experiencing a serious recession. Chinese tour operators canceled 3,000 rooms in 40 hotels in February in Dijon, the city with the highest number of Chinese tourists after Paris. In the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria, the effects of the epidemic began to be seen in tourist areas.

‘Compulsory vacation’ increases demand for distance education

With schools in China closed due to the epidemic, companies and schools that provide distance education and provide education services over the internet have taken a step forward. Shares of New Oriental, an after-school service provider traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, have rallied 75 percent since the beginning of the year as of Wednesday.

Covid-19 has also reached Iran: Detected in two people

It was announced that coronavirus (Covid-19) was detected in two people in Iran. This was recorded as the first coronavirus case seen in the country. In the epidemic, where the number of people who lost their lives exceeded 2 thousand, the number of cases exceeded 75 thousand. While the number of cases increased to 542 on the Diamond Princess, which is the largest epidemic center outside of China and waiting under quarantine on the coast of Japan, the evacuation of all passengers who tested negative is starting. In the first stage, 500 elderly passengers will be evacuated.

The number of cases rose to 81 in Singapore, 74 in Japan, 63 in Hong Kong, 51 in South Korea and 35 in Thailand. It was stated that 14 of the 20 new cases in South Korea were people who attended a church event in the city of Daegu. With the return of 14 US citizens diagnosed on the Diamond Princess, the number of cases in the US also reached 29. In Hong Kong, the second ‘coronavirus’ death occurred. The virus was not detected in any of the 781 passengers on the MS Westerdsam cruise ship anchored in Cambodia. Passengers are preparing to return to their countries. The tests of the crew will continue for a few more days. Apart from these regions, other countries where Covid-19 has been detected so far are as follows: Taiwan (23), Malaysia (22), Germany (16), Vietnam (16), Australia (15), France (12), Macau (10), United Arab Emirates (9), United Kingdom (9), Canada (8), Italy (3), Philippines (3), India (3), Cambodia (1), Belgium (1), Finland (1), Sweden (1), Egypt (1), Sri Lanka (1).

Source: https://www.dunya.com/dunya/cinde-fabrikalarin-yarisi-hala-kapali-haberi-463026

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