The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc on our world, claiming lives and majorly affecting global and regional business growth. 

Saudi Arabia's oil giant Aramco is the latest entity to be hit by the effects of the fatal illness; its shares lost most of the gains made since going public in December. 

The company lost around 7 percent of profits since the start of the year, mostly due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is mainly due to the drop in oil prices caused by alarm over the new version of the disease which originated in China's Wuhan. 

The loss of the publicly traded firm's profits comes as no surprise as China, the largest importer of Saudi oil, has seen a huge decrease in its energy demands as authorities lock down millions of people to prevent the spread of the virus among its population. 

Aramco is the largest company in the world and was listed in a record-breaking initial public offering (IPO) back in December. 

In 2018, the firm was named the most profitable in the world, raking in a whopping $111 billion net profit. But 2019 wasn't as prosperous and saw profits drop by 17.9 percent due to dips in oil prices. The company now faces further drops in its revenues due to lockdowns in China. 

Other Gulf economies have also been affected by the virus including the UAE where business growth slowed down due to the outbreak. 

On Monday, global rating agency Standard & Poor's said that the illness might further push down oil prices, especially if it is not contained by March. Health experts are hoping for the disease to subside by then given that spring usually marks the end of the cold and flu season. 

Coronavirus continues to spread

China continues to record a decline in the virus' infection rate but the illness' death toll is still climbing. 

The total number of deaths reported in China and countries all over the world crossed the 2,000 mark this week. Confirmed infections now stand at 75,309 across 30 different countries. 

Countries across the world including Arab ones are now amping up efforts to stop the spread of the virus.