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While the total count of the infected COVID-19 cases continues to rise, countries mull the option of restarting economic activity on different fronts after a month of major lockdown.
The total coronavirus infected cases worldwide have officially crossed three million counts as on Monday, April 27. The U.S. with the most number of COVID-19 cases is just short of touching one million cases. The situation remains pretty bad in the U.S. to an extent that it has three times cases than Spain, which is second in line. The coronavirus situation in Europe seems to be under control though it is still frightening.
It has already been 40 days since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. With the global economy going on a tailspin, several countries are willing to kickstart their economy to get the trade engine rolling. Job losses in the U.S. alone have spiked to a massive 26 million so far.
On one hand, the Federal Reserve has opened its vaults announcing trillion-dollar packages. However, the question remains as to how long can the Fed continue to pump money in the U.S. economy with no earnings insight.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that they could be heading towards an “Armageddon” scenario. Meaning, that the New Jersey reserves could be insufficient to fund public schools, in case they don’t receive more federal assistance. Speaking to CNBC, Gov. Murphy said that revenues have “fallen off the table”. He added:
“Our costs are going up serving folks who have lost their jobs, small businesses that have been crushed, folks who are in the health-care system, et cetera”.
Countries in Europe All Plan to Re-Start Economic Activity amid Coronavirus
Europe, which has been the biggest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic is looking forward to getting back to normalcy. Countries like Switzerland and Portugal which have relatively handled the situation in a better way are planning to kickstart their economic activity.
The Swiss residents have come out to avail services like haircuts, massages and shopping for garden supplies. A shopper said:
“I think it is about time. We have to live our lives, so I think it is important that we keep doing our activities and contact with people is so important, even in a queue like that”.
Portugal is also looking to ease restrictions on the people. However, it has made it mandatory to use protective equipment. Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that they won’t hesitate in taking a step back if the situation worsens. The Prime Minister also hailed the country’s textile industry for providing face masks. The use of face masks shall be mandatory in public places and schools. Costa said:
“We are likely to go down a level (on restrictions), but normality will only come when we have a vaccine in a year, or year-and-a-half. Until then, reopening will come with conditions — like using hand sanitizer, and masks. This industry initiative to produce them en masse is essential for public safety”.
Oil prices have plunged yet again on fears that global storage facilities will soon go full. Global index Brent Crude plunged 6.2% to trade at $20.61 per barrel. On the other hand, the stock market rose as investors remain hopeful at the start of the economic activity.