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COVID-19 Knocks-Off Global Stock Market: Will Technology Come To the Rescue!

COVID-19 is now a pandemic. Major stock markets have nose-dived to alarming levels in the last one week or so amidst the growing COVID-19 scare.

With more cases reported in new countries, COVID-19 has wrecked our daily life. Key business operations, travel plans, events and scores of other important activities have been thrown off-track as well. As of 10 March 2020, WHO has reported 113,702 confirmed infected cases (4125 new) and 4012 deaths (203 new). Today, stock markets became the latest victims of the novel coronavirus, within a week of WHO declaring COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

All major stock markets have nose-dived to alarming levels in the last one week or so amidst the growing COVID-19 scare.

According to India’s leading financial daily, Asian stock markets were the worst-affected.

“Bourses in Shanghai dropped 1.52 percent, Hong Kong 3.66 per cent, Seoul 3.87 per cent and Tokyo cracked 4.41 per cent. Markets in Europe crashed up to 6 percent in early trade. In overnight trade, the Dow fell into a bear market and futures pointed Thursday to another rout in New York and Europe.”

This is what happened in the last 48 hours in all major stock markets.

USA

All 30 Dow stocks saw RED at closure. The DJI average was let down 5.9% lower than average finishing at 1,464.94 points. Major stocks like Boeing (BA) plummeted by 18.8%.

According to Nasadaq, The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 2,741.38) shed 140.9 points, or 4.9%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC – 7,952.05) lost 392.2 points, or 4.7%.

China

The epicenter of the Wuhan Coronavirus had to bear the continuous onslaught of bearish market trends. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK) was down by more than 3.6%.

Shanghai stock market fell by 2%.

Singapore

Singapore, the commercial capital of South East Asia also suffered a major dent. The stock market pummeled by 4% on Thursday.

Worst losers include Wilmar (8.3% fall), Keppel Corp (7.2%) and Mapletree Logistics Trust (6.9%).

According to Singapore’s local news media, the US’s latest 30-day travel ban led to mass-selling in the Singapore stock markets.

India

The BSE Stock Exchange had a free-fall, losing 2,919 points – the biggest in its recent history of single-day losses. BSE settled 8.18 percent lower at 32,778.14.

The last five-day trends spell out the exact signs of the ominous “worse is yet to come”.

NSE Nifty too had a bad day at the stock market, giving up 8.30% to close at 9,590.15.

Japan

Tokyo Stock Market (also referred to as Tosho) closed at its worst three-year performance. The Nikkei 225 plummeted 856 points– 4.4% drop to close at 18,560 on Thursday!

AI, Blockchain and Data Science

Neil Sahota, a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert, called for the creation of a new ecosystem to ward off Coronavirus. He encouraged partnerships that could provide a solution to the coronavirus and possibly future pandemic diseases.

Sahota, author of the book Own the A.I Revolution (McGraw-Hill) and an IBM Master Inventor who led the IBM Watson Group, called on fellow researchers, clinicians, doctors, and scientists to “collaborate, treat, and hopefully, cure this disease.”

He said some big tech companies are “already providing chat and video conferencing tools to support their work, but there is an opportunity for deeper collaboration, perhaps through an ecosystem dedicated to coronavirus and potential future pandemic diseases.”

The United Nations AI for Good advisor noted that important new perspectives to the effects of the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill were developed through teamwork by environmental scientists, technologists, mechanical engineers and other experts.

“Why not find similar opportunities to create multi-disciplinary teams to combat the coronavirus?” Sahota asks. “Right now, we face two challenges. First, intense time pressure leads to a silo-mentality and we don’t recognize there might be more efficient solutions. Second, we may hope for a ‘magic bullet’ solution with technology like Artificial Intelligence. But, AI needs lots of data and training, and teamwork is essential.

“That’s why a new ecosystem might be effective. Consider the United Nations ITU AI for Good initiative that united government agencies, industry, academia and others to create new solutions for Sustainable Development Goals using AI. The combination of different perspectives, domain knowledge, and approaches create a unique synergy that accelerates usable solutions. It could be a very powerful approach for us in fighting the coronavirus and future, potential pandemic diseases.”

Content Discovery

Online search engines are reporting a 500% rise in the queries related to coronavirus and retail updates. The most unexpected results came from Luxembourg, which saw an increase of 466% in Coronavirus searches just three days, between Feb 23rd and Feb 26th. 

Over the last month, the US, Switzerland, France, Germany and the UK have shown the highest numbers of people searching for Coronavirus related queries, with staggering increases over the last two weeks, between Feb 23rd and March 9th including;

  • 425% increase in the US
  • 327% increase in the UK
  • 321% increase in France

Event Management and Webinars

Hundreds of user conferences and summits were canceled in the wake of coronavirus taking a pandemic form.

Video conferencing platform Zoom waived off the fee and registration charges for its services. Today, doctors from more than 1,000 public hospitals in China are using Zoom’s high-definition video meetings to conduct online consultations, remotely diagnose patients, and provide treatment during the coronavirus epidemic.

Zoom is also providing people on-the-move with the ability to collaborate using the devices. This is especially helpful to travelers who are either stuck due to various bans or restrictions.

Other tech companies offering assistance with their virtual meeting platforms are:

Passengers considering travel to Coronavirus-affected nations can find more information here.

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