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US should prepare for an 18-month lockdown, says Neel Kashkari

The sobering outlook from Kashkari comes at a time when the US has already endured more than 16 million job losses in the past three weeks.

April 13, 2020 / 08:47 AM IST

Neel Kashkari, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said the US should prepare of an 18-month shutdown to deal with the coronavirus outbreak that is wreaking havoc across the globe.


"This could be a long, hard road that we have ahead of us until we get to either an effective therapy or a vaccine. It’s hard for me to see a V-shaped recovery under that scenario," said the Indian origin Kashkari in an interview with CBS.


He said that the US should be looking at an 18-month strategy for the economy and health care system based on how other countries have responded to the pandemic.


A swift recovery is unlikely unless there is a "some health-care miracle", noted Kashkari, adding that the focus should now be on "finding ways of getting the people who are healthy, who are at lower risk back to work and then providing the assistance to those who are most at risk, who are going to need to be quarantined or isolated for the foreseeable future."


The sobering outlook from Kashkari comes at a time when the US has already endured more than 16 million job losses in the past three weeks.


Earlier this month, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had called for a nationwide shutdown in the US, when the number of COVID-19 cases had surpassed 2,00,000 in the country.


Gates explained that businesses need to remain shut until the numbers of reported cases start to go down across the country, which, according to him, could take at least 10 weeks.
The number of COVID-19 cases has now surpassed the half-million mark in the US, with 22,115 deaths. The country is still not under a federal lockdown even in high viral load states such as New York, which emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic in late March.





As of April 13, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India stands at 8,447. The Union Health Ministry has said that 273 people have died due to the disease.


Globally, there are more than 1.8 million cases and 114,247 deaths.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 13, 2020 08:47 am

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