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RBI sees impact of deadly coronavirus on tourism, trade

RBI sees impact of deadly coronavirus on tourism, trade

New Delhi:  Amidst rising toll from the deadly coronavirus in China and the infection spreading fast, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday said that the outbreak of the deadly virus could impact tourist arrivals and global trade.

The RBI said that the easing of global trade uncertainties should encourage exports and spur investment activity but the spread of coronavirus could hit foreign tourist footfall and global trade.

Two major Indian carriers - Air India and IndiGo have already suspended their flights to and from China. With fear and apprehension growing around the spread of the virus, several countries have shut their borders for the Chinese citizens and also those who visited the country recently.

India has also cancelled valid Visa to Chinese and also foreigners who visited China in the past few weeks to effectively contain the infections spreading in the country.

Assessing the overall external economic environment in its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy, the central bank noted that crude oil and gold prices shot up in early January sparked by the US-Iran confrontation but both softened from mid-January as geo-political tensions eased.

"By end January, crude oil prices dipped sharply due to sell-offs triggered by the outbreak of the coronavirus," the RBI said.

In the wake of coronavirus turning into a major public health issue in China, many companies have temporarily shut down manufacturing in and around Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly virus. This may affect supply chain across the region including India.

The death toll due to coronavirus infection has touched over 500 in China and the number of infected persons is estimated to be around 28,000.

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