France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire cautioned on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic may trigger the worst recession that his country has seen since World War II, AFP reported. France has 93,780 patients with Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and at least 8,078 people have died died due to it.

“The worst growth figure in France since 1945 was -2.2% in 2009, after the financial crisis of 2008,” Le Maire told a senate panel. “We will probably be very far beyond -2.2% this year. It’s an indication of the amplitude of the economic shock we’re facing.”

The French government imposed a lockdown till April 15 to contain the spread of the virus .

Last month, France’s national statistics bureau Insee had said that the lockdown has slashed overall economic activity by 35%. Services, heavy industry and construction had suffered big hits and blue-chip companies have abandoned their profitability targets for the year. The government, meanwhile, has pledged 45 billion euros in loan guarantees and other relief to help companies tide through the crisis.

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In March, the International Monetary Fund had warned that the world has entered a recession worse than 2009. The pandemic has caused millions of job losses across the world and developing countries have been looking at financial aid worth trillions of dollars to revive their economies. IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva had said more than 80 countries had asked for monetary help from the organisation.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 70,000 people across the world. More than 50,000 deaths have been reported from Europe, according to an AFP tally. With more than 15,000 deaths, Italy is the worst-hit country in Europe. In Spain, 13,055 people have died while the number stood at 8,078 for France and 4,934 for Britain.