IMF chief says coronavirus impact on global economy uncertain

Published February 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By EFE-EPA

Head of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva Sunday said it was too early to know what kind of impact the coronavirus outbreak would have on the global economy.

Georgieva’s statement came during the second edition of the two-day Global Women’s Forum 2020 in Dubai, where US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump delivered a speech.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva (L) and Emerging Markets Editor and Anchor of CNN John Defterios (R) attend a session at Global Women's Forum 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16 February 2020. (EPA-EFE/ALI HAIDER / MANILA BULLETIN)
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva (L) and Emerging Markets Editor and Anchor of CNN John Defterios (R) attend a session at Global Women’s Forum 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 16 February 2020. (EPA-EFE/ALI HAIDER / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are in a world with more uncertainty, we have to learn to build more predictability,” the IMF chief said.

“Nature of the virus is unknown or how quickly China can contain it,” she added.

Georgieva warned against economy flatlines, saying that there had been a 2.9-percent growth in 2019, which is the slowest in a decade.

IMF’s global growth forecast for 2020 is 3.3 percent.

The number of deaths caused by coronavirus epidemic climbed to 1,665 on Sunday due to the infection that has spiraled into a nationwide health crisis in China.

According to the National Health Commission, the total number of coronavirus patients in the country has now risen to 68,500.

Authorities announced that they had mobilized over 20,000 medical professionals to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the disease was first identified and has effectively remained in quarantine since Jan. 23.

After the first death outside Asia was reported from France on Saturday, the number of deaths outside mainland China has grown to five, with one death each reported from Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Although the virus has spread to around 30 countries worldwide, China accounts for around 99 percent of the total cases.

The UAE announced last month that Dubai airport would start conducting thermal screening measures on passengers on direct flights from China.

Dubai Airport, one of the world’s busiest, received in 2019 a total of 3.7 million Chinese visitors, a five percent increase compared to the figure of the year before.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus are in many cases similar to those of a cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).

 
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