COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020: UN trade agency

Atta Ur Rehman KhanWeb Editor & Columnist

10th Mar, 2020. 06:21 pm
Coronavirus UN trade agency

UN economists have warned that the deadly coronavirus epidemic could cost the global economy $1.0 trillion this year and called on governments to ramp up spending to mitigate its impact.

Richard Kozul-Wright, Director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies at UNCTAD said, “We envisage a slowdown in the global economy to under two per cent for this year, and that will probably cost in the order of $1 trillion, compared with what people were forecasting back in September.”

According to the sources of UN News, Launching the UNCTAD report as world financial markets tumbled over concerns about supply-chain interruptions from China, and oil price uncertainty among major producers, Mr. Kozul-Wright warned that few countries were likely to be left unscathed by the outbreak’s financial ramifications.

A new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a Geneva-based UN agency, concluded that the spread of COVID-19 will push some countries into recession and will significantly slow growth in the world economy as a whole.

To counter these fears, “Governments need to spend at this point in time to prevent the kind of meltdown that could be even more damaging than the one that is likely to take place over the course of the year”, Mr. Kozul-Wright insisted.

Although the threat of COVID-19 becoming an official pandemic “has become very real”, the world is “not at the mercy of the virus”, said the World Health Organization (WHO) head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, briefing journalists in Geneva on Monday.

Russia Postpones Annual Investment forum amid Coronavirus fears

Earlier in Feb, Russia has postponed the annual investment forum in the Black Sea city of Sochi scheduled to take place next week due to coronavirus concerns.

Reuters reported that The Russian Investment Forum, which is attended by a string of high-ranking officials and foreign investors, had been set to take place Feb. 12-14. The government order did not say when it will be held instead.

Russia said earlier that it could deport foreigners who tested positive for coronavirus while its military planes flew in to evacuate its citizens from the Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak.

On the other hand Oil prices decreased 20 percent on Monday after Saudi Arabia decreased oil prices and decided to increase crude production, leading to a big loss for the US.According to an international news agency, Saudi Arabia decreased prices and decided to increase crude production in April.

Prices decreased by as much as a third after which Saudi Arabia plans for price war balked at cutting the prices proposed by OPEC to stabilize oil markets after coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus

It is to be noted that an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, started in December 2019.

It was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China.[5][6] As of 26 February 2020, 81,278 cases have been confirmed, including in all provinces of China and more than forty other countries.

There have been 2,770 deaths attributable to the disease, including 55 outside mainland China, surpassing that of the 2003 SARS outbreak.

However, more than 30,000 people have since recovered.

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