Global coronavirus infections top 94,000, says WHO
The deadly coronavirus has till date claimed over 3,000 lives and infected more than 94,000 people across the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. The countries most affected include China, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is making available about $50 billion through its rapid-disbursing emergency financing facilities for low income and emerging market countries that could potentially seek support to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Of this, 10 billion dollars is available at zero interest for the poorest members through the rapid credit facility.
“We know that the disease is spreading quickly. With over one-third of our membership affected directly, this is no longer a regional issue - it is a global problem calling for a global response,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
The World Bank had on Tuesday announced an initial $12 billion in immediate funds to assist countries grappling with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus virus outbreak that has spread quickly from China to some 60 other countries.
The World Bank said the $12 billion in fast-track grants, loans and low-interest loans would help developing countries provide better access to health services, strengthen disease surveillance and bolster public health interventions, as well as work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies.
Shelves are being stripped bare of toilet rolls, hand sanitiser and surgical masks everywhere from Japan to France to the United States as panic buying criss-crosses the globe with the coronavirus, defying repeated calls for calm and disrupting supply chains.
Obsessively documented on social media, scrambles to the shops and empty shelves are adding panic and confusion to the fight against the disease.
On Saturday Japan’s prime minister took to Twitter to calm fears of a national shortage, while social media photos from the US show toilet paper shelves lying bare.
India has stepped up screening and suspended visas from countries where the outbreak is reported after 29 cases of Covid-19 came to light in the country.