Chennai: The past few days have been traumatic for R Annandurai of Knitfab in Tirupur for multiple reasons — including asking nearly 250 of his ‘committed and dedicated’ staff to go home, as European and American buyers have either cancelled or suspended orders due to coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.

Goods worth ₹2,500 crore are exported from the district every month

Readymade garment exports dropped by around 4.51 per cent to $1.437 billion in February 2019 compared to last year.

The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Europe threatens to bring the already suffering knitwear industry in Tiruppur to its knees. Most buyers from countries like Italy, Germany and Spain severely hit by the virus have either asked manufacturers here to “put on hold” the delivery of garments or have dropped hints of cancelling them.

Fall of 100-150 bps in operating profit likely this fiscal on global and local challenges

The cause of concern is that the production activities have been continuously taking place to fulfill the committed orders and deliver in time, and the disruption at this crucial juncture is causing a huge impact on the financials of the units.