The lives and livelihood of the world population has drastically changed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The relentless coronavirus has now infected 2 million people and caused over 100,000 deaths worldwide. Precautionary measures and necessary travel restrictions, quarantine and social distancing practices implemented by governments and authorities across the globe has resulted in the world’s “Great Lockdown”.
“Flattening the spread of COVID-19 using lockdowns allows health systems to cope with the disease, which then permits a resumption of economic activity. In this sense, there is no trade-off between saving lives and saving livelihoods,” said the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
IMF predicts that the toll on the world economy as a result of the mass lockdowns, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, will be steeper than that of The Great Depression 1929-1933 which currently holds the record as the world’s most severe economic crisis. “Under the assumption that the pandemic and required containment peaks in the second quarter for most countries in the world, and recedes in the second half of this year, we project global growth in 2020 to fall to -3 percent. This is a downgrade of 6.3 percentage points from January 2020, a major revision over a very short period. This makes the Great Lockdown the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis...The cumulative output loss over 2020 and 2021 from the pandemic crises could be around US$9 trillion”
Will the situation settle and will the economy recover? IMF states, “Assuming the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and that policy actions taken around the world are effective in preventing widespread firm bankruptcies, extended job losses, and system-wide financial strains, we project global growth in 2021 to rebound to 5.8 percent.”
Assuming the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and that policy actions taken around the world are effective, we project global growth in 2021 to rebound to 5.8% but it would be only partial. Read the latest #WEO https://t.co/93xXDRsg3B pic.twitter.com/OALih0reUO— IMF (@IMFNews) April 15, 2020
Though we are experiencing times of uncertainty and downturn, there are hopeful and positive signs that this pandemic will end as the world continues to fight and overcome the COVID-19 crisis together.