Coronavirus News Asia

New ‘Great Depression’ looms as virus toll mounts

Live version of coronavirus map

World powers scrambled on Thursday to build a global response to the human tragedy and once-in-a-century economic collapse caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the worldwide death toll topped 93,000.

In a locked-down New York, the UN Security Council was to meet on the pandemic for the first time. And, by video conference, EU finance ministers are wrangling over how to bail out their worst-hit members Italy and Spain.

The US coronavirus death toll jumped to over 15,774, according to the Johns Hopkins University, with more than 450,000 cases.

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

New York State had recorded its single day record for Covid-19 deaths, with 799, although the rate of new hospitalisations fell, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“We anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression,” said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, warning that all but a handful of countries will see incomes fall and urging governments to provide “lifelines” to businesses and households alike. 

The US Federal Reserve threw out just such a lifeline to Americans, with chairman Jerome Powell announcing financing facilities of $2.3 trillion “to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity.”  

He warned, however, that the US economy is moving “with alarming speed” towards “very high unemployment.” Nearly 17 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March.

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