Washington DC [USA], Feb 28 (ANI): The economic cost from the outbreak of coronavirus strain COVID-19 is still uncertain but will certainly have a negative impact on global growth, the International Monetary Fund has said.
The IMF is looking at all the data available and hopes to have a more concrete outlook of the ultimate impact when it publishes the next World Economic Outlook report in April, said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.
"We are likely to downgrade our growth projections for the world in April. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has already said that. I do not have another number for you today, but clearly the virus is gonna have an impact on growth," he said on Thursday (local time).
In consultation with its members, the IMF is examining options on how to hold its spring meetings in April, said Rice.
"We remain fully committed to sharing the fund's policy advice. Maintaining our dialogue with our membership and stakeholders, which is the objective of the spring meetings. So we are looking at this as we speak. We are considering various options. The institutions, both institutions, have well-developed contingency plans," he said.
The coronavirus COV-19 outbreak is not confined by national borders, so the economic response to it must also be international, said Rice. And the IMF supports the measures taken so far by China and other countries to prop up their economies as the health crisis impacts them, he added.
"In the event that things get worse, we should be in a position of thinking about a more synchronised, a more coordinated response that would include economic measures. I think it would include health measures as well. We are not at that point yet," said Rice.
"The IMF has a full array of financial tools and incentives to help lower-income countries with emergency funding so that money used to stave off disease does not come at the expense of long-term economic stability," he added.