WASHINGTON / LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s richest nations have prepared more expensive measures on Tuesday to combat the global effects of the corona virus, which has infected tens of thousands of people, triggered social restrictions that have not been seen since World War II, and that Economies has entered a recession.
With the highly contagious respiratory disease originating in China and infecting more than 190,000 people worldwide, governments on all continents have taken draconian measures to contain them, from stopping travel to stopping sports and religious gatherings.
While the main goal is to avoid deaths – currently over 7,500 – the world powers have also focused on how to limit the inevitable devastating economic effects.
In the world’s largest economy, the U.S. Senate was preparing to consider a billion dollar emergency law to alleviate the pandemic, but the Trump administration pushed for another $ 850 billion.
Airlines are among the most affected sectors. US airlines are looking for grants and loans of at least $ 50 billion to stay afloat as passenger numbers decrease.
Britain, which has advised people to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas and theaters, has unveiled a $ 400 billion bailout package for companies at risk of collapse.
Budget forecasters said the level of borrowing required could be similar to the huge levels of debt raised against Nazi Germany during the 1939-1945 war.
“Now is no time to make public sector debt squeamish,” Robert Chote, head of the Department of Budgetary Responsibility, told the legislature.
QUEEN ELIZABETH TO MOVE
The British Church of England underlined how the crisis itself shook most institutions and ceased worship, while 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth was due to move from Buckingham Place to Windsor Castle outside London.
France will pump € 45 billion ($ 50 billion) of crisis measures into the economy to help businesses and workers. Production is expected to shrink by 1% this year.
“I always defended financial rigor in times of peace so that France didn’t have to cut back on its budget in times of war,” Budget Secretary Gerald Darmanin was quoted by the financial newspaper Les Echos.
The European Union (EU) has relaxed its regulations so that companies receive government grants of up to EUR 500,000 (USD 551,000) or bank loan guarantees to ensure liquidity.
Such promised cash splurges, however, have not allowed world stock markets or oil prices to shake off their coronavirus nightmare after Wall Street experienced its worst path since Monday’s Black Monday crash in 1987.
The Philippines was the first country to close markets, while in Europe – now the epicenter of the pandemic – airline and travel agency stocks fell another 7%.
Given that various central banks around the world have lowered interest rates to help the troubled economies, investors fear that they may have used up their political ammunition early, much longer, until the global health crisis is eased.
According to economists, a global recession threatens to parallels the 2008 financial crisis, although many predict a quick recovery once the outbreak subsides.
EUROS, COPA AMERICA OFF
Sports events continued to fall by the wayside.
Football’s 2020 euro was postponed by a year, while Copa America in South America was also postponed to 2021.
Pakistan suspended its Super League cricket after an overseas player developed symptoms of a coronavirus. The Kentucky Derby horse race was postponed from May to September, and there was continued speculation about the fate of the Olympic Games in Japan.
Bad news was relentless around the world.
Brazil recorded its first death as a corona virus, while Peru took its military to the streets.
The Israeli government has authorized Shin Bet’s security service to use the counter-terrorism technology that is commonly used to monitor mobile phones to track movements of infected people.
Iran temporarily released around 85,000 prisoners.
Daily life has been turned upside down for millions of people worldwide.
“Everything has stalled,” said Tiziana Marra, a wedding planner in Europe’s most affected nation, Italy, where the epidemic devastated the wedding.
“It’s like people are preparing for war,” said an astonished shopkeeper in Rwanda, when panicked consumers searched for rice, cooking oil, sugar, and flour.
“Prices have gone up – but they’re still buying.”
Graphics – Interactive graphical tracking of coronavirus distribution worldwide: here
Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and David Milliken in London; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Maria Caspani and Susan Heavey in Washington; Andrew MacAskill in London; Leigh Thomas, Geert de Clercq, Benoit Van Overstraeten and Caroline Pailliez in Paris; Philip Puellella and Noor Zainab Hussain in Rome; Clement Uwiringiyimana in Kigali; Catherine Cadell in Beijing; Letters from Andrew Cawthorne and Lisa Shumaker; Edited by Giles Elgood and Bill Berkrot