Fearing that the novel coronavirus will impact Kerala's economy, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Tuesday asserted that if the coronavirus outbreak is not contained globally within three months it may lead to a worldwide economic crisis. The impact of the crisis may be felt in the state, Thomas added.
"With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the global economy is facing a threat... if the outbreak is not contained within three months, " said Thomas Isaac in Kerala Assembly on Tuesday.
He further informed that the tourism industry in the state has already been adversely affected after Coronavirus cases were reported in the region. It can be recalled that the first three positive cases of Coronavirus were detected in Kerala. The three patients were later discharged after the curing of the virus. The finance minister also expressed his worry about the Kerala economy as it is dependent on NRI remittances.
"This season tourists kept away due to Coronavirus outbreak. Also, other countries like Iran have been hit by Coronavirus. Travel restrictions have been imposed by Saudi Arabia. If Gulf countries are affected, it will have its impact on Kerala as our economy is dependent on NRI remittances, " said Kerala Finance Minister.
The Minister further claimed that the state government has been successful in containing the deadly Coronavirus while the other countries are struggling.
"What an exemplary work Kerala has done!" he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held an extensive review meeting regarding preparedness. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that there is no need to panic. He also mentioned that different ministries and states are working together to provide prompt medical attention.
United Nations has released $15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help fund global efforts to contain the novel coronavirus COVID-19. UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock announced the release of the fund after the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the alert to its top level of risk assessment - ‘very high’.
The UN funding has been released for the WHO and the UNICEF to help essential activities including monitoring the spread of the virus, investigating cases, and the operation of national laboratories. The WHO has called for $675 million in funding to combat the deadly virus. WHO Director-General said that the biggest concern is the countries with weaker health systems.
(With inputs from ANI)