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Dramatic Coronavirus Timelapse Reveals an Economical Wrecking Ball

Last Updated March 22, 2023 6:42 AM
Joseph Young
Last Updated March 22, 2023 6:42 AM

A widely-shared timelapse video shows there are substantially fewer flights going in and out of China after the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Significantly less flights are going in and out of China two months into the coronavirus outbreak.
  • It puts pressure on China and the government’s wish to recover the economy.
  • People’s Bank of China already cut its rate to support local firms, which it was reluctant to do even during the trade war.

A timelapse video from Flightradar24 shows there are substantially fewer flights going in and out of China after the coronavirus outbreak was publicized.

Up to November 2019, China was noticeably seeing a significant amount of flights coming in on a daily basis. As of February 2020, flight activity has visually dropped by more than half.

Coronavirus’ Economic Impact Is Stinging

In his first public speech since the coronavirus outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized that the nation cannot stray away from economic development objectives  while dealing with coronavirus.

Up until 2019, with a strong six percent annual growth rate, the Chinese economy was expanding rapidly. Some, like U.S. President Donald Trump, said China was catching the U.S. as various sectors including tech grew exponentially.

But, in recent months, major cities have been placed under lockdown and tens of millions of people have been advised to stay at home  with household quarantine.

With at least 50 million individuals out of the workforce, it remains to be seen how the Chinese government plans to recover from the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.

To add to that, less individuals traveling to China and to anywhere in general  as a precaution makes economic recovery all the more challenging.

The major issue the Chinese government has at hand is the lack of uncertainty on when the outbreak would subside.

Gabriel Leung, the dean of medicine at the prestigious Hong Kong University, predicted that the peak of coronavirus is likely to be reached in April.

Experts are expecting the coronavirus outbreak to extend for at least two full months before it begins to slow down.

Even after the peak is achieved, fewer people will travel to China and many other countries that were heavily affected by the coronavirus such as Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan.

a line graph showing the number of people in each country
The SSE Composite recovers after 2 months of coronavirus due to various stimuli | Source: Yahoo Finance

Short-Term Solutions For Long-Term Instability

For years, the People’s Bank of China has been reluctant towards introducing various stimuli to help boost its economy.

During the trade war with the U.S. in the latter half of 2019, China maintained its favorable stance towards a prudent monetary policy  despite the U.S., Europe, and other major regions taking the opposite direction.

The government stated at the time that it does not intend to risk long-term economic instability for short-term prosperity.

This week, the severity of the coronavirus outbreak and the economic hit the country has taken from it forced the People’s Bank of China to cut its interest rate to alleviate pressure from local companies. 

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the hand of the Chinese government in many ways, as its negative impact intensifies across key industries.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: February 18, 2020 11:10 AM UTC