- April 1, 2020: Vol. 12, Number 4

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Under a microscope: As coronavirus cases rise, economies and property markets react

by Jennifer Molloy

Over the years, it has been impossible to escape the growth story, draw and influence of China — for real estate investors and the global economy. Now, that growth story is being disrupted by a black swan event, which in this case is a microscopic, highly contagious novel coronavirus — officially known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province in December 2019. On 28 February, the World Health Organisation increased its assessment of the risk of spread and risk of impact of COVID-19 to “very high” at the global level.

While the Chinese government has been more transparent than during the SARS epidemic of 2003, it is still challenged. In fact, in the October 2019 release of the Global Health Security Index, China received an overall index score of only 48.2 out of 100, and ranks 51 out of 195 countries on the six categories assessed in relation to natural, intentional and accidental biological threats (see

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