ISLAMABAD-Coronavirus, which is spreading across the globe mainly triggering from our neighbour China, has not yet affected the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. This was said by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Saturday.

Talking to The Nation, he, however, feared that if the virus prolonged and is not eliminated for a longer period of time, then there is a chance that this mega project, which is believed to be the backbone project of the emerging economy of Pakistan, might also get delayed.

He stated that the government of China was undoubtedly facing many challenges because of the life-threatening virus that has taken many lives over there and is degenerating the Chinese economy and businesses.

As the businesses and the economy of our neighbouring country China are facing a big challenge and are seen striving hard to fight this deadly virus, will the CPEC project experience any kind of hurdle as it is being carried out by China for its global Silk Road project?

When this correspondent asked this question, the minister, who is also supervising this mega project of CPEC, explained that if the virus is not stopped immediately and prolongs for an indefinite period, only then there is a possibility that this project gets affected.

Umar briefed that if China gets isolated from rest of the countries in order to mitigate the effects of this coronavirus or to eliminate it within their economy and people, then Pakistan would also be affected like almost every economy of the world.

Additionally, the economic impact of the virus is still impossible to determine, but the great economists of the world economy have said that China’s growth rate could drop two percentage points this quarter because of the outbreak, which has brought large parts of the country to a standstill. A decline on that scale could mean $62 billion in lost growth.

Lately, it was also reported by Aljazeera that the Asia-Pacific countries are also vulnerable to a further economic slowdown in China, as well as a decline in Chinese tourism as the country imposes travel bans on outgoing group tours.

The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has risen to 213 with another 1,527 people in a serious condition, the country’s National Health Commission revealed Friday.

Including USA and Japan, the deadly virus has spread to 25 more countries alarming public health authorities across the world. A total of 11,944 (including 11,822 in China, Hong Kong, and Macau) confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection including 259 deaths have been reported across the world as of now.

Pakistan has been lucky and experienced not a single case of this virus. The National Institute of Health has received the kit from Japan to combat against this virus.