Coronavirus: Use internet, avoid China business trips – GUTA

The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) has advised its members to suspend business trips to coronavirus-hit China.

This comes in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak which has claimed at least 106 lives in China.

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Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, where the virus has been traced to a seafood market is under lockdown with residents advised staying indoors turning most popular areas to Ghostowns.

Import-dependent Ghana has several businesses purchasing a wide variety of goods from China for local consumption. With the latest number of cases being 4,515 on Tuesday, according to the National Health Commission, GUTA has issued a travel alert to members to cease movement to the Asian country.

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Alternatively, the association has admonished businesses to conduct their transactions on the internet without a physical presence in China.

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A press release on Tuesday, signed by GUTA General Secretary, Alpha Shaban said “the business community, especially, traders who intend or are preparing to travel to China for business or any other thing, to hold on and if possible do their business-related and other communications on the internet until the case of the outbreak and spread of the respiratory illness as reported in the media is brought under complete control”.

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GUTA also urged business people who have recently returned from China to report themselves to any nearest health facility if they observe any symptoms of the infection spelt out by health officials.

A handful of countries abroad have also been hit by the plague as authorities make frantic efforts to bring the health crises under control.

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Thailand has reported 14 cases of infection; Hong Kong has eight; the United States, Taiwan, Australia and Macau have five each; Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia each have reported four; Japan has seven; France has three; Canada and Vietnam have two; and Nepal, Cambodia and Germany each have one. There have been no deaths outside China.

China’s coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected oil markets with oil prices falling by 10 per cent.

Stocks were not insulated as world trades slumped on various global trading platforms.

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