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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Coronavirus outbreak: How businesses, markets, industries weathering the impact

In the wake of the outbreak, several corporate entities are taking certain measures to check the spread of the disease, but most of them are staring at a steep financial crisis in the near term.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 19, 2020 1:21:48 pm
In India, three deaths have been confirmed so far due to Covid-19 and the total infected cases presently stand at 169. (File photo)

The novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been impacting businesses, markets and economies across the world. The disease, which originated from Wuhan in China, has already claimed nearly 9,000 lives and over 200,00 across the globe.

In India, three deaths have been confirmed so far due to Covid-19 and the total infected cases presently stand at 169, according to the latest figures of the health ministry. In the wake of the outbreak, several corporate firms are taking certain measures to check the spread of the disease. Most of them, however, are staring at a steep financial crisis in the near term.

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From allowing employees to work-from-home and cost-cutting measures, we take a look at how businesses, industries and, markets are tackling the impact of coronavirus:

Rupee falls below 75 vs US dollar amid coronavirus scare

The Indian rupee weakened further and fell below 75-level against the US dollar on Thursday amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country and weak domestic equities.

The rupee which opened on a weak note at 74.96 at the interbank forex market, lost further ground and touched a low of 75.12 against the US dollar, registering a decline of over 86 paise over its last close.

Reliance Industries initiates work-from-home for staff

India’s largest firm Reliance Industries has initiated work-from-home for its staff while keeping open consumer-facing businesses of hospital, retail stores and telecom with a minimum workforce amid increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Economic environment has deteriorated : IndiGo to its pilots

Economic environment in aviation sector has deteriorated significantly and it has become necessary to initiate some tough decisions over the next few days and weeks, said IndiGo’s flight operations chief Ashim Mitra to pilots in an email on Thursday morning.

With countries sealing their borders partially or fully across the world due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, aviation sector has been hit extremely hard as most airlines globally have drastically curtailed their flight operations.

Indian stock indices plunge 7 per cent as virus panic grows

The selloff in the Indian share market continued for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday as the benchmark equity indices on the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) crashed over 7 per cent in the opening deals to their lowest levels in over three years as cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) rose across the country and also across the world.

The S&P BSE Sensex opened over 1,000 points lower and within minutes slipped as much as 2,155.05 points (7.46 per cent) to 26,714.46. The Nifty 50 index too crashed as much as 636.25 points (7.51 per cent) to 7,832.55 during the early trade on Thursday.

Wall Street extends recent selloff

US stocks deepened their selloff on Wednesday and the Dow effectively erased the last of its gains since US President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, as repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic threatened to cripple economic activity.

The benchmark S&P 500 index ended off of its lows of the session but still down 5.2%, extending the recent plunge that ended Wall Street’s longest-ever bull run. The S&P 500 is now down about 29% from its Feb. 19 record closing high.

Airlines look to cut costs; suspend foreign ops, reduce allowances

With the COVID-19 disease continuing to spread across India, airlines in the country are starting to feel the heat from the plummeting demand for flights. To this extent, several airlines have initiated cost-reduction measures to maintain cash-flows at a time when their cash-generators — airplanes — remain grounded. These measures include suspending international operations, reducing allowances for staff, and asking them to take leaves without pay.

Directive to Indian Missions to explore alternative API sources

Indian Missions outside the country have been asked to explore the possibility of sourcing raw material for medicine production in their respective countries, The Indian Express has learnt. While China has slowly begun to ease restrictions on Hubei, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) outbreak that has caused a global pandemic, India is still working to reduce its dependence on the neighbouring country for crucial drug ingredients.

India depends on China for nearly 70 per cent of its import requirements of bulk drugs, but the Covid-19 outbreak in the neighbouring country forced it to speed up efforts to cut this dependence.

Health policies to cover coronavirus-related illnesses on the cards

With coronavirus (Covid-19) spreading, insurance companies are toying with the idea of launching coronavirus-specific cover as proposed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

While insurance industry sources said most health policies cover coronavirus-related hospitalisation claims, provided hospitalisation is for more than 24 hours, there could be a case for a specific cover to tackle the disease as the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus attack as a pandemic. Earlier this month, the regulator asked insurance companies to design products covering the costs of treatment for Covid-19 in the country.

Take into account impact of coronavirus while auditing: ICAI

Accounting and auditing regulator — the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) — is set to come out with an advisory note for its members to take into account the impact of the coronavirus while preparing or auditing financial statements. The president of the ICAI, Atul Kumar Gupta, said it was necessary that auditors paid special attention to the impact of coronavirus on businesses.

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