G20 leaders to discuss about Coronavirus outbreak on Thursday: Report

The coronavirus outbreak has created a major stir worldwide as morew than 150 countries have faced the brunt of the deadly virus

The leaders belonging to the Group of the 20 major economies will have a video conference on Thursday and discuss about the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, a few sources informed the Reuters. This comes amidst all the criticism about the group being slow in their response on the global crisis.

The finance ministers of G20 and the central bankers had agreed while a separate video conference that took place on Monday for developing an action plan for respondiong to the outbreak that the International Monetary Fund expects may trigger a global recession. A statement from the Saudi G20 secretariat gave a few details.

IMF expecting a global recession

Economy Pixabay

The extraordinary leaders' summit will be complicated by an oil price war between two members, Saudi Arabia and Russia, and rising tensions between two others, the United States and China, over the origin of the virus, which has infected 378,000 people globally and killed more than 16,500.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has welcomed the fiscal and monetary steps taken by some countries, but said more would be needed, especially in the fiscal arena. Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said given monetary policy constraints, the G20 countries' only option to support growth might be fiscal stimulus, but even that remains in question.

"This is because the introduction of fiscal stimulus measures may raise the risk of a debt crisis once the coronavirus epidemic is over; such a prospect would have a devastating effect on global growth," she said. "This is something that G20 leaders will have in mind if they go for stimulus packages."

(With agency inputs)

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