United Nations economists on Monday warned that the rapid escalation in coronavirus outbreak could cost the global economy between $1.0-$2.0 trillion this year. According to a report released by United Nations Conference on Trade, Investment and Development (UNCTAD) the COVID-19 shock will cause a recession in some countries and depress global annual growth this year to below 2.5 per cent, the recessionary threshold for the world economy.
The UNCTAD report suggests that the developing countries, excluding China, will take a hit of around $220 billion because of the coronavirus outbreak. Oil exporting countries will be the most badly affected economies, along with other commodity exporters, as well as those with strong trade linkages to the initially affected economies.
The UN report further stated, "Growth decelerations between 0.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent are likely to occur in countries such as Canada, Mexico, and the Central American region, in the Americas; countries deeply inserted in the global value chains of East and South Asia, and countries in the immediacy of the European Union."
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 4,000 lives across the globe and has infected over 1,14,000 people around the world since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were being traded illegally as per reports.
According to the latest reports, at least 900 people have died outside mainland China, which makes it the worst disease outbreak of the 21st century. Italy, Iran and South Korea are the most affected countries besides China, where 54 people have died respectively as of March 10. Meanwhile in India, the deadly disease has infected 47 people so far, of which 4 patients have recovered fully and 43 are under observation.