Amid Coronavirus Scare, World Bank,IMF To Hold Annual Spring Meetings In 'virtual Format'

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Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday announced to hold their annual spring meeting "virtually''

Written By Manjiri Chitre | Mumbai | Updated On:
World Bank

Amid the growing concerns over the novel Coronavirus across the world, the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday announced that they will  hold their annual spring meeting "virtually." Every year, the WB and IMF bring several delegates, journalists, observers and more to Washington DC for the meeting. Further, the meeting is scheduled from April 17 to April 19. 

In an email to the staff on Tuesday, the World Bank's President said that with the outbreak of Coronavirus intensifying, they will hold  the 2020 World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings to a virtual format

UN releases fund 

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.

Read: Jammu & Kashmir administrative gears up to fight against novel coronavirus outbreak

Death toll rises in China

According to the reports on Monday, 42 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll to over 3,000. While most of the cases are from Hubei province of China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, other countries, including Iran, Italy, Japan and the Philippines, have also now reported deaths related to COVID-19.

First detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province of China, the virus outbreak has now spread across 20 countries since December 2019. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dubbed the virus as COVID-19. 

Read: World Bank calls on countries to 'strengthen health surveillance' amid coronavirus dread

Coronavirus outbreak

On March 1, UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock released $15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help fund global efforts to contain the virus. The announcement came soon after the WHO upgraded the global risk of the coronavirus outbreak to "very high" – its top level of risk assessment. The WHO has said there is still a chance of containing the virus if its chain of transmission is broken. 

The WHO has called for US$675 million to fund the fight against coronavirus. There is a window of opportunity to contain the spread of the virus if countries take robust measures to detect cases early, isolate and care for patients, and trace contacts.

Read: India & World Bank sign 450 million loan agreement to improve groundwater management

Read: 'We are extra vigilant after Coronavirus cases rise in India': Kerala Health Minister

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