Coronavirus scare hits Surat diamantaires, industry staring at Rs 8,000 cr loss

Hong Kong, one of the world's busiest airports and a major transit point for China, is struggling with 18 positive cases of Coronavirus and one reported death.

Coronavirus scare hits Surat diamantaires, industry staring at Rs 8,000 cr loss
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The impact of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak can be seen adversely affecting India's economy too. The Indian diamond traders are predicting a loss of almost Rs 8000 to Rs 10,000 crores for the months of February and March due to declaration of a state of emergency by Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong is a major diamond export destination, and due to the outbreak of Coronavirus it has shut all schools and colleges till the first week of March. Commercial establishments have also taken a hit due to novel coronavirus.

According to Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) regional chairman Dinesh Navadiya, polished diamonds worth around Rs 50,000 crore are exported from Surat to Hong Kong every year.

"That's around 37 per cent of the total exports from here. Now, due to coronavirus scare, Hong Kong has declared a month-long vacation. Gujarati traders who had offices there are coming back to India," he was quoted as saying by PTI.

"Polished diamonds and jewellery made in Surat reach across the world through Hong Kong only. Now, due to vacation there, our business is totally closed. Traders are also returning to India," he said.

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If the situation does not improve, it will have a huge impact on the Surat diamond industry, which polishes 99 per cent of all rough diamonds imported in the country, he added. 

Hong Kong, one of the world's busiest airports and a major transit point for China, is struggling with as many as 18 people testing positive and one reported death.

According to WHO, symptoms of the coronavirus include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

The virus has killed more than 500 people in China and infected more than 27,000 people nearly all of them from Hubei province.