Drop in cargo at Port of Virginia partly due to coronavirus

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Port of Virginia saw a drop in cargo last month that officials say is due in part to the coronavirus and its effects on the shipping industry.

The port handled a total of 207,816 containers, measured in 20-foot (6-meter) increments, last month, a 9% drop from February 2019, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Port officials attributed the decline to the spread of the virus and ongoing trade tariffs.

A previous port estimate predicted that volume losses due to the virus in February, March and April will total 44,000 import containers, according to the newspaper.

The coronavirus breakout in China led to a significant slowdown in manufacturing, hampering the shipping industry.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

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