The Novel Corona-virus (COVID-19) making huge impacts on the tech industry.
First of all, let’s talk about Corona Virus, what is it exactly?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
The SARS-CoV came in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2012. Now, this virus has the official name COVID-19.
Some say the virus came from the seafood market in Wuhan, where the flesh of the infected animals was being sold. So basically, it got transmitted to humans from animals.
How is the Novel Coronavirus disrupting the tech industry?
The Global Tech industry is under a massive hit due to the Novel Coronavirus, and mainly, the tech hub rests in Wuhan China. The city of Wuhan and Hubei Province from where the disease spread, the town has been kept isolated from 23rd Jan.
The Hubei Province, in which Wuhan is located, is a transportation and manufacturing hub. The organizer GSMA had already canceled the show.
Tech companies like Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft monitoring the situation very closely and have banned their employees from travel. Lenovo, on the other hand, allowed its employees to work from home to avoid the face to face meetings.
Nintendo reportedly said the production of its popular Switch handset in China was “seeing some impact from the coronavirus.” Five factories that make LCD and OLED panels are expected to see slowdowns in production, according to IHS Markit, a research firm. World’s largest LCD manufacturers BOE technology helps in over 17% global LCD production, and it also got the blow due to the Coronavirus, and this will lead towards price hikes in LCD panels somewhere around $1-2$ more expensive.
Nintendo also sees a significant impact on its popular Switch gaming system. The factories that make LCD and OLED panels are also expected to see the slowdowns up to 20% in the productions as per the research firm HIS market.
Diversification of manufacturing over the past years might help reduce the impact.
Hyundai is the first company that faced the impact of this outbreak. Due to this scenario, the company is forced to stop the manufacturing of their cars in South Korea because of the supply parts.
Honda supplies to shift production from Wuhan to the Philippines. This current situation is getting worse, and the scientists are saying that the disease may peak between late April and early May. Asus is going to face the shortages for its popular ROG Phone2 in the upcoming months.
MWC Barcelona is an annual trade show organized by GSMA and it got canceled due to the current situation in China.
Most companies rely on China for manufacturing.
iPhone comes from China; Motorola has a factory in Wuhan, and most importantly, Tesla has one of its biggest factories in Shanghai, and because of this, they had to close the factory and delay the deliveries of its Model 3 cars. Foxconn is known to manufacture iPhones, and they have decided to reduce the manufacturing process, and due to the current issue, Apple might have to delay the launch of its upcoming iPhone SE2, aka iPhone 9.
Almost every tech company is going through this problem, and they are facing supply and manufacturing issues, and this is becoming a big problem.
So how is China dealing with this problem? The confirmed cases for the Coronavirus are 80,754, and 3,136 have died due to the Corona-Virus.
As per some reports, the problem is ten times bigger than expected, and the Chinese government is failing to keep it under control.
Due to the current situation in China, everyone is scared about being exposed to the virus. Some food delivery companies have found a solution for it, they put the food in a specified place, and the customer can pick it up, to avoid any kind of contact.
The same story goes with the schools and gyms, and we see temporary suspension here. However, classes in China have moved online (WeChat), and on the other hand, people still want to be entertained, and they can’t go out and watch movies, so they are using streaming services like Bytedance and Tencent video. Virtual Reality is helping real estate companies to let users buy houses.
Importantly people can get doctor’s appointments online, and apps like WeChat are allowing users to let the doctor check them for the virus symptoms. Its war-like situation in China and Chinese companies are also coming forward to help fight this epidemic.
Alibaba is going to provide free access to its AI capabilities for the development of drugs and vaccines. Chinese telecom operators and Huawei are giving 5G equipment to the new hospital that China has built-in Wuhan. Xiaomi is making and distributing masks and testing kits.
Apart from China, 44 other countries are facing this pandemic, and it is growing as there is no cure to it. Some scientists suggest that the warm weather might help to reduce the intensity of the virus.
Iran is the second country to suffer for the massive hit by this virus. Iran’s deputy health minister has affected by the Coronavirus.
America has declared a national emergency due to the Corona-virus outbreak. Forty people died due to COVID-19. Washington took a massive hit, which has 568 reported cases and 37 fatalities, 32 in Seattle’s King County.
How to fight Covid-19?
All we can do is prepare ourselves for the situation, and there’s no cure to settle this outbreak. It’s our humble request to take proper precautions, and please take care of yourself.
The important thing about this virus is that the incubation period is 2-14 days during which there are some symptoms that the person is infectious, this is even worse than the person is unknowingly spreading the virus, but in the absence of the symptoms neither they nor the people around them will be able to tell. The PCR test that helps to identify the virus takes a certain amount of time, and if there are a large number of people infected, it could take longer to identify the people with the illness.
So, the good news is that there are some medications that have demonstrated success, and they are currently being tested, and a vaccine could take a couple of months to develop.
- Buy an N95 mask for yourself and your loved ones.
- Make sure that your medical kit has paracetamol and consult your doctor about keeping a few antibiotics handy.
The virus can’t get into your body through your skin; it needs a mucous membrane, which means your nose, eyes, or your mouth.
It would be best if you washed your hands whenever you step out of your house as the virus can spread through Fomites- Objects that are capable of transmitting infection, such as skin cells, clothing, hair, and bedding material.
The virus comes from the same family of viruses as the seasonal flu; this means that it needs cold temperatures to spread effectively.
The critical thing to keep in mind is that a low immune system puts you in the risk.
It’ll take time to develop the vaccine for the virus, probably 10 to 12 months according to the world health organization. Let’s hope the situation comes to its normal state and remain calm and take all the precautions mentioned on the WHO website.