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Coronavirus could inflict $8.8 trillion in global losses: Asian Development Bank

The ADB's forecast, equal to 6.4% to 9.7% of global gross domestic product, was worse than projections in April when it said the global economy could suffer between $2.0 trillion and $4.1 trillion in losses, depending on how long containment measures were in place.

May 15, 2020 / 10:03 AM IST

Global economic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic could be between $5.8 trillion and $8.8 trillion this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Friday, more than double its earlier estimates as containment measures paralyse economies.

The ADB's forecast, equal to 6.4% to 9.7% of global gross domestic product, was worse than projections in April when it said the global economy could suffer between $2.0 trillion and $4.1 trillion in losses, depending on how long containment measures were in place.

"This new analysis presents a broad picture of the very significant potential economic impact of COVID-19," said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada. "It also highlights the important role policy interventions can play to help mitigate damage to economies."

The ADB said the upper end of the range assumed curbs on movement and businesses lasting six months, while the bottom end assumed they would last three months.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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After the health crisis brought the economy of China, where the virus surfaced in December, to a virtual halt in the first quarter, several countries and territories have reported a rise in infections and deaths, leading to widespread travel bans and stay-at-home orders.

Nearly 300,000 people worldwide have died from complications from the virus, which has infected more than 4.3 million people.

Measures to contain the spread could inflict $1.7 trillion to $2.5 trillion in economic losses in Asia, and between $1.1 trillion and $1.6 trillion in China, the ADB said.

Travel restrictions and lockdowns will likely cut global trade by $1.7 trillion to $2.6 trillion and put between 158 million and 242 million people out of work, the ADB said.

Global central banks have moved aggressively with sweeping emergency rate cuts and fiscal stimulus measures to help combat the pandemic that jolted financial markets and stoked fears of a deep global recession.
Reuters
first published: May 15, 2020 08:32 am

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