Coronavirus News Asia

IMF forecasts bruising global recession

The coronavirus is poised to spark a bruising global recession not seen in a century, the IMF warned Tuesday, as countries considered lifting sweeping lockdowns that have crippled economies and kept billions confined to their homes.

The deadly pandemic has already killed more than 125,000 people and infected close to two million around the world since it first emerged in China late last year, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Click on the above graphic to see a live version. Source: Johns Hopkins University

It has upended lives from New York to New Delhi to Naples as governments imposed unprecedented lockdown measures to contain the virus’s devastating march, sparking fears of tipping the world economy into a slump not seen since the Great Depression.

But with deaths and infections possibly starting to plateau in some of the hardest-hit countries, debate is mounting about when – and how – to lift lockdown measures that have kept half of humanity hemmed into their homes for weeks on end. 

Austria and Italy allowed some shops to reopen on Tuesday, a day after Spain allowed construction and factory workers to return to their jobs. 

In the US, President Donald Trump said numbers were levelling off and the White House was set to unveil a team Tuesday tasked with reopening the economy.  

But the picture was patchy across the globe.

France extended its nationwide stay-at-home orders for another month, while some shops in Italy refused to reopen despite the greenlight from the central government, fearing a resurgence of the virus.

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