International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that it is clear that the global economy has entered a recession worse than the one of 2009, AFP reported. Georgieva added that worldwide economic activity has suddenly stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that developing countries will need help worth trillions of dollars from the developed countries to revive their economies.
The IMF managing director said that the fund’s estimate “for the overall financial needs of emerging markets is $2.5 trillion”. However, she also warned that the estimate is on the “lower end” of the scale.
Over 80 countries already have requested emergency aid from the IMF. “We do know that their own reserves and domestic resources will not be sufficient,” Georgieva said of these countries.
The IMF chief spoke to reporters following a virtual meeting with the fund’s steering committee. During the meeting, Georgieva officially requested a increase in the fund’s fast-deploying emergency facilities from their current level of around $50 billion.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread exponentially around the world on Friday. The total number of cases, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University, rose to over 5.6 lakh, and the toll to over 26,000. Of these, Italy has accounted for over 9,000 deaths, and Spain for 4,934.
Italy recorded close to 1,000 deaths on Friday, a one-day record for any country, AFP reported quoting a government official. The country has been in complete lockdown since March 10, but no positive effects have yet been seen. On the other hand, the number of cases in the United States rose to 92,932, the highest anywhere in the world.
Spain also saw a national record for the jump in daily deaths, with 769 deaths in 24 hours, taking the overall toll to 4,858. The Spanish government also returned some test kits manufactured by a Chinese company, alleging that they were faulty. Meanwhile, the French government extended its stay-at-home order until April 15, AFP reported.
Iran announced 144 new deaths from the coronavirus, taking the country’s toll to 2,378. In Germany, the number of confirmed cases rose to 42,288 and the toll to 253.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter that he had only mild symptoms and was in self-isolation, but would continue to handle the country’s response to the pandemic.
In India, the official number of cases rose to 724, and the number of deaths to 17.