The adverse effects of the coronavius outbreak are being felt in the trade industry, the latest victim being traders at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE).
On Friday, NSE suspended trading at the bourse after stock prices fell by over 15 percent, following revelations of a coronavirus case in the country.
“The NSE wishes to notify market participants, investors, key stakeholders and general public that trading at the NSE was halted on Friday 13, March 2020 at 2:38 p.m as per the provisions of Rule 9.4.1 (ii) of the NSE Equity Trading Rules,” read a statement.
The rule states “when the NSE 20 Share Index decreases by more than 5% at the opening session compared to its closing value or during the continuous session, compared to its opening value, the Exchange may temporarily halt trading for not more than 30 minutes.”
Earlier today, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country, saying that the patient is a woman who travelled from the U.S. to Nairobi through London.
The 27-year-old woman is said to have jetted into the country on March 5.
The CS pointed out that the patient is stable and her temperature has gone down to normal.
Kagwe has urged Kenyans not to panic as the woman has been isolated and is under medication.
The outbreak is expected to take toll on other business sectors in the country, most affecting import/export business due to reduced flights/shipments from abroad.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak, which is fast spreading across the world, a pandemic.
“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” said WHO Director- General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
A pandemic is a disease for which people do not have immunity spreading over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population
According to WHO, coronavirus is a respiratory illness clinically resembling viral pneumonia and manifesting as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.