Virus outbreak seen not dragging down PH growth

Published February 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


The current outbreak of novel coronavirus would not drag-down the country’s economy as the impact of the deadly disease is most likely be centered only on the tourism sector, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said yesterday that the 2019 novel coronavirus, which first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan, might very well be at an early stage of its global outbreak.

For this reason, Dominguez said it will be a challenge to estimate the coronavirus’ potential economic costs.

“Given that we may be in the early stages of this outbreak… we are consoled by the observation that the virus has limited local transmissions outside China,” Dominguez said.

Currently, 99 percent of the infections and a large majority of the casualties have been confined to Hubei province in China. However, there are already two confirmed deaths related to coronavirus outside mainland China—one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Dominguez said that a significant impact on the economy will most likely be centered on the tourism sector, but the government continues to implement proactive measures to keep its people safe.

“The travel and tourism industry around the globe is taking a hit as a result of the various levels of travel bans imposed by national governments and of voluntary decisions of airlines to cut flights to and from China,” the finance chief explained.