As coronavirus spreads outside China, Africa is shaking up as to ways it can combat the menace. While efforts are en route, PwC South Africa has released a report which says that the country’s tourism sector could lose ZAR 200 Mn to the deadly disease hailing from Wuhan China.
According to the estimate, South Africa stands the risk of loosing that huge amount in foreign currency spending. A total of 1,000 jobs in the tourism sector of the country are also on the line.
But tourism won’t be the only victim if coronavirus is not kept out of the country. Many other industries will feel the effects felt in China and elsewhere. The report says mining companies could see reduced demand for ore to retailers who might have trouble stocking the products.
Nevertheless, the biggest loser to coronavirus so far around the world is tourism. Previous disease outbreaks also had the same footing, including SARS, Swine Flu and Ebola. In South Africa, Swine Flu (in 2009) led to a travel decline by around 15 percent, per PwC data.
The first case of COVID-19 in Africa was confirmed in Egypt on February 14, 2020, the carrier of which is a foreign visitor. According to researchers, the North African country alongside Algeria and South Africa are at the highest risk of importing coronavirus
So far the virus has claimed 2,118 lives around the world. China’s National Health Commission reported today that there were at least 114 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak as of the end of Wednesday, bringing to at least 2,118 the number of fatalities nationwide.
Presently, African governments are debating hurling it students in China back to their respective countries as a protective measure. Meanwhile, some of the continent’s leading airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines, have suspended flights to China.
“The number of Chinese tourists — and the South African jobs that they create — are actually small compared to the impact of other major origins countries in Europe and North America,” Pietro Calicchio, the hospitality & gaming industry leader for PwC South Africa, said.
Image: Brand South Africa