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The Economic Impact Of An Infectious Disease


Haberman Dariz. Rafi on an. I'm Lena since Gary and we are the producers here on the indicator from planet money today. We're bringing you a story that that at first glance may not seem like it's about economics. We're talking about the corona virus so a little background earlier this month officials in China identified fight a new strain of Corona virus that had begun infecting humans causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. In Wuhan a city of about eleven million people and a major manufacturing hub. The virus has since claimed the lives of at least one hundred and thirty two people and infected more than six thousand people at least eighteen countries. The Chinese government women officially extended Lunar New Year holiday keeping schools and most businesses closed. Millions of people are now under strict. Quarantine will travel in and out of affected affected areas tightly. Controlled huge chunks of Chinese society have essentially ground to a halt and that's beginning to have some major economic impacts as the world's second largest economy a hugely important market for many global company is China is a major engine of growth for the world and now large parts of that engine are sitting idle. Global stock markets have been rocked in recent days with hotels and tour operators expected to be hit. Hard restaurant chains like starbucks McDonald's Donald and KFC have closed thousands of locations across China. United Airlines British Airways and air. Canada have canceled. Flights into the region apple adjusted its latest earnings forecasts forecast anticipating supply disruptions and automakers like General Motors Honda and Toyota have all shuttered plants in Wuhan but beyond all that beyond the impact on the bottom line and supply chain disruptions. This is also a moment of extreme fear and anxiety for the millions of people currently living under lockdown and at the end of the day emotion is just as powerful an economic force has anything else and so we wanted to know what are things actually like on the ground in China. What does it look like when an infectious disease? Outbreak shuts down one of the world's largest economies so we decided to reach out to NPR's Beijing correspondent. Emily Fang caught up with her as she was returning to Beijing. From Jiu Zhang a city of about four and a half million people just across the river from the quarantine zone. You'll hear that conversation soon after the break

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