Coronavirus to bring Asia’s growth to a standstill: Live updates

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  • The total number of coronavirus cases in the world has surpassed two million and more than 133,000 of them have died, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.

  • US President Donald Trump is set to announce guidelines on reopening the county’s economy on Thursday. Germany has announced first steps to ease its lockdown.  

  • The head of the World Health Organization has said he regrets Trump’s decision to halt funding for the organisation, but called for world unity to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the global economy is expected to shrink by three percent this year – the biggest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s. G20 nations agreed to suspend debt payments owed to them by the world’s poorest countries.

Here are the latest updates:

Thursday, April 16

01:26 GMT – China reports new cases of local transmission in Beijing

Health authorities in China are reporting 46 new cases of confirmed coronavirus infections, of which 34 are imported and 12 are domestic transmissions. 

Of the 12 local cases, three are in China’s capital, Beijing, five in Guangdong province and four in Heilongjiang province. 

00:10 GMT – Asia’s economic growth ‘to drop to zero for first time in 60 years’

IMF says the coronavirus pandemic is likely to bring Asia’s economic growth to a a standstill for the first time in 60 years.

“These are highly uncertain and challenging times for the global economy. The Asia-Pacific region is no exception. The impact of the coronavirus on the region will be severe, across the board, and unprecedented,” says Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.

Governments must offer targeted support to hardest-hit households and firms, he says, adding that the crisis requires “a comprehensive and coordinated policy response”. 

The zero growth projection for Asia is worse than the 4.7 percent average growth rates recorded in the region during the global financial crisis of 2008. 


Hello, I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. You can find all the updates from yesterday, April 15, here. 

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