The coronavirus disease, which was first detected in central China in December, has turned into a full-blown pandemic, and its panoptic impact has left most of the world rattled and shocked. According to the latest figures by World Health Organization (“WHO”) published in
a report by CNBC, the number of people infected globally is at least 207,860, while the number of deaths recorded is at least 8,657. According to another CNBC report, analysts from the Economic Intelligence Unit (“EIU”) assumed that the virus will infect about 50% of the world population, with 20% cases being severe and 1-3% resulting in deaths. Consequently, EIU projected global growth to stand at 1% in 2020 (down from the expectation of 2.3% before the coronavirus outbreak). Analysts also added that it would mark the lowest rate in global gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the global financial crisis in 2008. VIDEO Freefall Continues Wall Street is currently grappling with the coronavirus outbreak as evident from yet another volatile session on Mar 18 that nearly erased all of the gains accumulated under the Trump administration. The Dow Jones closed below 20,000 total points for the first time since February 2017. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index plummeted, which set off a market-wide temporary halt to trading before closing at 5.2%. Needless to say, that the panic triggered by the escalating coronavirus epidemic has been weighing heavily on investors by sending markets into frenzy. Amid this crisis, there are parts of healthcare, which have been able to capitalize on this outbreak and hold immense prospects. Let us delve deeper. Coronavirus Outbreak Brings Lucrative Prospects Telemedicine (also referred to as telehealth or e-health), which previously struggled to gain widespread acceptance, has been given new lease of life by the coronavirus outbreak. According to the definition provided by AMD Global Telemedicine, telemedicine enables health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote locations through the use of telecommunications technology. The telemedicine stocks got an impressive response, when in February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked healthcare service communities to increase the use of telemedicine in broader ways. Added to this, the House recently passed an emergency spending bill, allowing medicare reimbursement for telehealth during crisis situations. In this regard, UnitedHealth Group, which already has several telehealth services, including free apps through which virtual consultations can be booked, is a noteworthy name. Now let’s turn our focus to diagnostic testing, where prospects are immense as some of the key molecular diagnostic players are showing significant promise on account of rigorous work on the development of diagnostic testing for the coronavirus and attaining regulatory approvals for them. LabCorp ( LH - Free Report) , for instance, announced the availability of its LabCorp 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), NAA test, effective Mar 5, for doctors and other authorized healthcare personnel in the United States. The test diagnoses the presence of the underlying virus responsible for COVID-19 and should benefit patients who meet current guidelines for evaluation of the disease. Further, demand for medical products such as hospital gowns, masks, gloves, infection prevention kits and ventilators has increased significantly. Henry Schein ( HSIC - Free Report) , primarily a distributor of protective equipment, has seen an uptick in demand for masks through its dental and medical distribution business in Asia, and in the United States. Cardinal Health ( CAH - Free Report) is another company that has benefitted from this outbreak. Potential Gainers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Going by the aforementioned discussion, here are four such stocks that have been showing promise amid the worldwide pandemonium. Roche Holding AG ( RHHBY - Free Report) : On Mar 13, Roche Holding company received the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the cobas SARS-CoV-2 Test. The test will be used for qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples from patients who meet COVID-19 clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for testing. The CE-IVD test is also available in markets accepting the CE mark for patients with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and living in affected areas. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has lost 7.3% in the past two months, compared with the industry’s decline of 12.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ( TMO - Free Report) : This global manufacturer of scientific instruments recently attained EUA from the FDA for its diagnostic test to be used immediately by CLIA high-complexity laboratories in the United States. The test has been developed for the detection of nucleic acid exclusively from SARS-CoV-2. The instrument is covered under the EUA and is already utilized in clinical laboratories globally. In the past two months the company has lost 6.7%, compared with the industry’s decline of 18.7%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank of 3. Becton, Dickinson and Company ( BDX - Free Report) : The company, also known as BD, along with CerTest Biotec, recently announced the receipt of CE mark for the VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 real time test adapted for the BD MAX System. Thus, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, used for detecting COVID-19, is now available to clinical laboratories. In the past two months the company has lost 13.7%, compared with the industry’s decline of 14.2%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell). Teladoc Health, Inc. ( TDOC - Free Report) : Teladoc has setup an interactive arrangement that allows patients to talk to a U.S. board-certified physician by phone or video, in a bid to counter this crisis. Further, it is currently enabling health systems to provide virtual care on a greater scale through the technology and capabilities of both Teladoc Health, as well as its newly-acquired InTouch Health platform. The company carries a Zacks Rank of 3. In the past two months the company has gained 63.5%, against than the industry’s decline of 21.8%. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential
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