CORONAVIRUS is predicted to wipe more than $4trillion from the global economy as a top bank admitted the impacts of the pandemic are going to be much worse than they feared.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) – an international economic institution with 68 member states – described the Covid-19 outbreak as the “worst pandemic in a century”.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
ADB experts warned in the bank’s annual economic report that the global cost of coronavirus will be up to $4.1trillion.
The figure amounts to 4.8 per cent of the entire world’s economy, much worse than they initially feared in the early days of the pandemic.
Published in the Asian Development Outlook 2020, the new prediction comes as the US and Europe have become the epicentres of the outbreak.
The bank warns of “unprecedented economic disruption” ahead.
More than one million people have been confirmed to have the virus which has killed almost 60,000 victims since originating in China.
Experts fear the worst is still yet to come, with the US taking the leading with the highest case count in the world with more than 275,000.
Despite the figure of $4.1trillion, ADB officials also said the number could still be an “underestimate” due to knock on impacts such as collapsing supply chains and social crises.
The Philippines-based bank did however add the impacts could be mitigated to just $2trillion if containment is eased sooner than expected.
Coronavirus has placed the world’s economy into flux, with an $5trillion pledged in a worldwide stimulus package by the G20.
Workers globally have faced losing their jobs, businesses have gone bust, and the world’s governments are desperately trying to keep their economies moving without putting people at risk to Covid-19.
ADB experts admitted the forecast may change as unexpected consequences of the coronavirus appear worldwide.
Only 18 countries in the world have yet to be impacted by the bug, mostly island nations in the Pacific Ocean.
The bank’s report said: “The possibility of a financial crises cannot be discounted and the pandemic could also bring about fundamental changes to the global economy over the long term.”
The financial experts admitted there is “vast uncertainty” about the “duration and severity of the pandemic”.
Impacts of it on the economy may be “worse than forecast” and “growth may not recover quickly” from coronavirus.
The bank’s report warned of plummeting commodity prices, and a major slowdown for developing nations.
In the report, the ADB said: “The rapid spread of [Covid-19] has made it the worst pandemic in a century.
“The outbreak was still concentrated primarily in the People’s Republic of China when ADB released initial estimates of its economic impact on 6 March.
“Since then the outbreak has expanded significantly, with its epicenter shifting to Europe and the United States.
“The use of containment measures such as travel bans and community quarantines has expanded greatly."
'MUCH LARGER IMPACT'
It added: “Data from [China] indicates that the outbreak caused a double-digit decline in economic activity in the first quarter of 2020.
“Updated scenarios suggest a much larger impact than previously envisioned, reflecting these new realities.
“The range of scenarios explored in this update suggest a global cost of between $2.0 and $4.1 trillion, equivalent to between 2.3% and 4.8% of global GDP. “
ADB experts added there needs to be an international effort to try and mitigate the economic impacts of Covid-19.
Half of the world’s population are now under some form of lockdown as the pandemic sweeps its way across the world.
The US, Italy, Spain, Germany and France are now the worst impacted nations, and the death toll continues to rise.
Strict measures are in place worldwide to try and control the virus, with cities in total shutdown and health services stretched to their limits.
World Health Organisation officials have said they are concerned about the “near exponential” continuing growth in coronavirus cases.
WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu said: “As we enter the fourth month since the start of the pandemic, I am deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection.”
Hopes the virus could be contained have long faded, and now world governments are scrambling to try and save lives.
The US is now the epicentre of the infection, with fears it could kill up to 240,000 people before the bug is beaten.
The world’s youngest victim is believed to be six-week-old baby who died in the US state of Connecticut.
US President Donald Trump said “horrific days” are ahead for his nation as the daily death toll reached 1,000.
He said: “Our country is in the midst of a great national trial unlike any it has ever faced before.”
Britain continues to fight back against the infection with a nationwide lockdown as the death toll races towards 4,000 – surpassing the official count in China.
Fears are looming over this weekend for the UK as a heatwave rolls in, with officials urging people to stay home and not risk spreading the virus by flocking to parks and beaches.
The Queen is due to address the United Kingdom on Sunday as dark days seem ahead for almost everyone worldwide.
Source: Read Full Article