Just as COVID-19 deaths looked poised to begin gradually falling in Italy, fatalities in Spain rose the most in a single day since the outbreak began.
The country said 514 people died from the virus in one day despite draconian lockdown measures aimed at stopping the spread.
On Monday, Italy reported 601 deaths, marking a second consecutive day of declines and stoking optimism that perhaps – just perhaps – the worst is over for the country, which became the global epicenter this month when fatalities surpassed those seen in China.
In Iran, the situation continued to deteriorate. The death toll climbed to 1,934 after 122 people died in the past 24 hours. Nearly 1,800 Iranians have tested positive since Monday.
Australia’s infection total topped 2,000 and in the US, at least 100 people died Monday, bringing the total to 500+. Donald Trump appears poised to encourage Americans to go back to their normal routine (or something that closely approximates their normal routine) within days, even as medical experts generally advise against it and state and local officials continue to institute what amount to shelter-in-place orders. GE, Ford and 3M are collaborating on a large-scale effort to make desperately needed ventilators.
Japan is set to delay the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by one year, an outcome that was unavoidable. Tokyo saw its largest one-day rise in patients on Tuesday, Fuji News Network reported.
WTO Deputy Director-General Karl Brauner is infected, a spokesperson said.
The UK is, of course, on almost total lockdown after Boris Johnson delivered a stern message on Monday evening, barring any and all unnecessary movement of people for the next three weeks. “Stay home”, he implored.
Europe’s economy looks poised to fall into a deep, dark recession, a self-evident contention that began manifesting in record-low PMI prints on Tuesday. The country-level data reflects the malaise evident in the broader gauge.
“The latest PMI data revealed dismal results for the French private sector, with coronavirus-driven shutdowns leading to widespread economic disruption”, IHS Markit said, noting the record plunge on the services gauge. “These declines suggest GDP is collapsing at an annualized rate approaching double digits”, economist Eliot Kerr remarked.
“March data highlight that the COVID-19 outbreak has already dealt the UK economy a more severe blow than at any time since comparable figures were first available over 20 years ago”, Markit and CIPS lamented. “The combined monthly decline in output across manufacturing and services exceeded that seen even at the height of the global financial crisis”.
On Monday, following the first of what will, apparently, be several calls between G20 officials, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said 2020 is going to be worse than the GFC for the global economy.
“The outlook for global growth for 2020 is negative—a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse”, she said. That means global growth, as a whole, will contract this year, and although we don’t yet have an official projection from the IMF (i.e., an update to their January projection), you can pencil in a contraction as far as Georgieva is concerned.
“We expect recovery in 2021”, she went on to say, noting that in order to get there, “it is paramount to prioritize containment and strengthen health systems—everywhere”.
“The economic impact is and will be severe, but the faster the virus stops, the quicker and stronger the recovery will be”, Georgieva reasoned.
At least one person doesn’t agree.
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020