The novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

HOW TO CITE THIS ARTICLE: Evans O. (2020). Socio-economic impacts of novel coronavirus: The policy solutions, BizEcons Quarterly, 7, 3–12.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, namely severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first detected in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China (Brüssow, 2020; Fauci, Lane & Redfield, 2020; Gentile & Abenavoli, 2020; Shang, Yang, Rao & Rao, 2020). Symptoms range from fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, and shortness of breath. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection (Chavis & Ganesh, 2020; Chen et al, 2020; Deng & Peng, 2020).

The outbreak has since spread to all provinces of mainland China and 27 other countries, with more than 100 000 confirmed cases and 3 400 confirmed deaths as of March 7, 2020 (World Health Organization [WHO], 2020a). According to a report by WHO (2020b), the speed of transmission for COVID-19 virus is estimated to be 5-6 days; the reproductive number is said to be between 2 and 2.5; children are less infected than adults, currently, the crude mortality ratio  is between 3-4%. While a number of therapeutics are in clinical trials in China and more than 20 vaccines in development, there are presently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics available.

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