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IMF Urges Governments Around The World To Deploy “Substantial” Stimulus Against Novel Coronavirus

The US Federal Reserve last week announced an emergency interest rate cut, and on Monday significantly increased its daily cash injections into money markets to $150 billion to ensure ample liquidity amid the virus uncertainty

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IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said last week the epidemic "is no longer a regional issue, it is a global problem calling for global response". VOA

Governments should deploy “substantial” stimulus and international coordination to counteract the economic impact of the spreading coronavirus epidemic, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist said Monday.

Given the “acute shocks” caused to economies, consumers and businesses, Gita Gopinath said “policymakers will need to implement substantial targeted fiscal, monetary and financial market measures to help affected households and businesses.”

That includes “cash transfers, wage subsidies and tax relief” as well as interest rate cuts and financial market support by central banks Given the global economic linkages, “the argument for a coordinated, international response is clear,” she said in a blog post.

Yet such a strategy seems to be lacking thus far The IMF has already warned that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will slow growth in the world economy to below the 2.9 percent posted last year.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said last week the epidemic “is no longer a regional issue, it is a global problem calling for global response. She warned that the financial need could top $1 billion.

The virus has shuttered factories, disrupted travel, delayed conferences and sporting events and infected more than 110,000 people worldwide while killing more than 3,800, mainly in China, and is accelerating in other countries.

Gopinath said the impact is seen in production cuts hitting companies across the globe that depend on parts from China, as well as consumption, since people are reluctant to go out and spend money.

The result then ripples into financial markets as borrowing costs rise when “banks suspect consumers and firms may be unable to repay their loans on a timely basis. “Higher borrowing costs will expose financial vulnerabilities that have accumulated during years of low interest rates, leading to a heightened risk that debt cannot be rolled over,” she said.

IMF
Governments should deploy “substantial” stimulus and international coordination to counteract the economic impact of the spreading coronavirus epidemic, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist said Monday. Wikimedia Commons

Some countries already have taken steps, Gopinath noted. Italy, the country hardest hit in Europe, “has extended tax deadlines,” and Korea has introduced wage subsidies.

The US Federal Reserve last week announced an emergency interest rate cut, and on Monday significantly increased its daily cash injections into money markets to $150 billion to ensure ample liquidity amid the virus uncertainty.

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That was just what Gopinath called for, saying such moves “can lift confidence and support financial markets.” And she noted that “actions by large central banks (are) also generating favorable spillovers for vulnerable countries.” (VOA)

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TikTok Donates Hazmat Medical Suits, Masks Worth 100 Crore To Help Doctors in India Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

Earlier, Xiaomi had announced to donate lakhs of N95 masks to the state governments. The company also pledged a Rs 15 crore contribution towards India's fight against Covid-19

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Coronavirus
Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in India has climbed to 1,637, causing 38 deaths, according to the data furnished by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. A total of 132 patients have been cured and discharged so far. Pixabay

Chinese short video platform TikTok on Wednesday donated 400,000 hazmat medical protective suits and 200,000 masks worth Rs 100 crore in order to help doctors and other medical professionals tackle the spread of COVID-19 in India.

“The Government of India has been making concerted efforts to contain the spread of the virus and through this donation we want to contribute towards this effort. With support from the Union Ministry of Textile, this essential gear, which meets the prescribed standards and guidelines, is being handed over to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India,” the company said in a statement.

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The masks shall be provided to both local and state-level medical workers and have been handed to the Delhi and Maharashtra governments.

TikTok
Chinese short video platform TikTok on Wednesday donated 400,000 hazmat medical protective suits and 200,000 masks worth Rs 100 crore in order to help doctors and other medical professionals tackle the spread of COVID-19 in India. Wikimedia Commons

Earlier, Xiaomi had announced to donate lakhs of N95 masks to the state governments. The company also pledged a Rs 15 crore contribution towards India’s fight against Covid-19.

Additionally, the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation have also pledged to donate essential medical supplies to India.

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Meanwhile, the total number of coronavirus cases in India has climbed to 1,637, causing 38 deaths, according to the data furnished by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. A total of 132 patients have been cured and discharged so far. (IANS)