Coronavirus: hysteria and business warnings

Coronavirus: hysteria and business warnings

The coronavirus outbreak in Europe has accelerated over the past few days as Italy has become a hotbed of the infection.

Latest figures show that cases of the virus in Italy have risen to 400, whilst the UK has only 15 confirmed cases.

The outbreak in Italy is centred in the north of the country, with 11 towns in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto put into lockdown.

Hysteria and anxiety seems to be taking over the country, with images of empty supermarkets in Milan emerging as citizens panic buy supplies.

Business warnings

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, many businesses have warned that the outbreak will hit their results.

Indeed, global businesses have cited problems with supply chains, product shortages, staff shortages and the decreasing volumes of international tourism to the Asia Pacific region as being problematic for their companies.

SSP Group (LON:SSPG), the owner of Upper Crust, warned that the sharp decline in both domestic and international air passenger numbers in China will hit its results for the month of February.

Meanwhile, two leading brands in the sportswear industry, Puma (ETR:PUM) and Adidas (ETR:ADS), are expecting business in China to be heavily impacted by the outbreak of the virus.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) warned that iPhone supply shortages and a low demand for its products within China will cause it to miss its quarterly revenue guidance.

Likewise, Associated British Foods (LON:ABF) said that Primark may face supply shortages on some lines as the year progresses in the event that delays to factory production are prolonged.

Fears mount among the public as the virus continues to spread. Here is an update from the Department of Health and Social Care on the situation in the UK:

We will keep you updated as the situation develops.

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