New Delhi: S&P Global Platts on Monday estimated a potential drop in oil demand between 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) and 900,000 bpd in February, ranging across worst-case and best-case scenarios, as the novel corona virus spread continued unabated and multiple governments cautioned people against travelling to affected regions.

“Platts Analytics worst-case scenario shows a drop of 2.6 million b/d in oil demand in February, and a 2 million b/d decline in scenario shows a drop of 900,0000 b/d in oil demand for February, and a 650,000 b/d decline in March," the firm said in a statement.

Concerned over the situation, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may advance its 5-6 March meeting.

“OPEC is considering deeper oil-production cuts, or extending its current supply curbs beyond their March expiry," the firm said in a statement.

As of Monday, 17,348 people across 27 countries were reported to have tested positive for the virus, with death toll in China touching 362, and one death reported in The Philippines, according to the John Hopkins University’s real-time tracker for the disease.

India reported its third positive case of the novel coronavirus (nCoV 2019) in Kerala on Monday.

The Indian government has issued a new advisory urging Indians to avoid travel to China, the epicentre of the outbreak, adding that travellers on return could be quarantined.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses causing illnesses from common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The novel coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, China, on 31 December. As on Thursday, more than 634 confirmed cases, and 17 deaths were reported, almost doubling the death toll in just one day, according to the United Nations News. The deaths have all been reported in Wuhan, which has a population of around 8.9 million.

“Dated Brent was assessed by S&P Global Platts at $56.67/b Friday, down $1.10 on the day, and down $7.75, or 12%, since January 20," the statement added.

“Platts Analytics best-case scenario shows global jet fuel demand declining by 618,000 b/d in February, while its worst-case scenario shows a decline of 1 million b/d," the statement added.

This comes in the backdrop of volatile oil prices, trade tensions and a slowing global economy, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashing projected global growth by 0.1 percentage point for 2019 and 2020, and 0.2 percentage point for 2021.

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