New COVID-19 outbreak to cost ฿45-60bn in economic damage if not contained in a month
It has been estimated that the current COVID-19 outbreak will cost the Thai economy about two billion baht a day, or as much as 60 billion baht a month, if the contagion is not contained, according to a forecast by the Economic and Business Forecast Centre of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Assistant Professor Thanawat Pholvichai, advisory chairman of the centre and rector of TCC University, said today that economic losses in Samut Sakhon province alone, the epicentre of the current outbreak, are estimated at about 10 billion a month, based on the estimated billion baht per day revolving funds in circulation, 70% of which is related to the seafood industry.
He noted that, for the time being, most of the factories in the province, export and domestic trading of seafood have not been seriously affected and no cancellations of export orders have yet been reported.
With the pro-active tracing and testing efforts now under way, he believes that the COVID-19 outbreak will be under control within 14 days, if the rate of infections outside Samut Sakhon is kept to fewer than 10 cases a day.
The Kasikorn Research Centre, meanwhile, estimates economic loss, within a month, at about 45 billion baht, but that could be much less if the situation is brought under control quickly, noting that no cluster infections have yet been reported outside Samut Sakhon and limited lockdown measures are still in place in some provinces.
The centre anticipates economic losses in three areas, namely the seafood sector and related industries, estimated at about 13 billion baht, cancellation of New Year festive activities, estimated at about 15 billion baht and a reduction in travel, estimated at about 17 billion baht.
The centre said that there are other businesses being impacted by the virus outbreak, the economic damage to which cannot yet be assessed.