G20 leaders to discuss impact of coronavirus on global economy at Extraordinary Virtual Summit on Mar 26

G20 summit officially opens in Osaka. Photo by the New Straits Times. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Mar 25, 2020, Mint. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the “Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit” on Thursday to discuss ways to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on global economy and other matters, a person familiar with the developments said, Mint reported.

The summit will be preceded by a “Virtual G20 Sherpa meeting on Wednesday”, the person said.

The virtual meeting of G-20 leaders comes after a telephone conversation between Modi and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman last week. The two leaders had spoken of the joint effort on the part of the world’s developed and developing economies. Modi had also discussed the matter with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Since its emergence in December, the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes COVID-19 has claimed more than 18,900 lives. It has also infected more than 424,000 people according to a live tracker of the disease run by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Countries have closed borders, businesses downed shutters and airlines have stopped operations in a bid to combat the spread of infections that have overwhelmed countries like Italy. Prices of oil have crashed. Many countries have announced special economic packages to support small industries as well as vulnerable sections of their population to contain the economic impact of the pandemic with no one able to predict when the crisis will bottom out.

In India, Modi has called on the industry not to cut pay for workers who are not coming in to work. He urged industry on Monday, via video conference, to use their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and not to cut down workforce.

Modi also told businesses that it was imperative that production of essential items should not be impacted at this time, and black marketing and hoarding be prevented.

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