Coronavirus: Over 50,000 deaths recorded as global cases reach one million
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world has soared past one million and fatalities have topped 50,000 as the United States reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far.
Despite more than half the planet living in some form of lockdown, the virus is continuing to spread rapidly, and to claim lives at an alarming pace, with the US, Spain and Britain all seeing their worst days yet.
The economic cost of the pandemic is getting starker by the day, with new figures showing that an extra 6.65 million Americans signed on for unemployment benefit last week, taking to 10 million the number of people in the US who lost their jobs in the last two weeks of March.
And economists warned it was going to get worse.
“No words for this,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“Total layoffs between the March and April payroll surveys look destined to reach perhaps 16 to 20 million, consistent with the unemployment rate leaping to 13 to 16 per cent. In one month.”
Financial ratings agency Fitch on Thursday predicted that the US and eurozone economies would shrink this quarter by up to 30 per cent as struggling businesses slash investment and unemployment dampens consumer spending.
The Asian Development Bank warned Friday the global economy could take a $4.1 trillion hit from the virus — equivalent to five per cent of worldwide output.
World leaders have announced huge financial aid packages to deal with the crisis and the World Bank on Thursday approved a plan to roll out $160 billion in emergency cash over 15 months. Punch