• COVID-19 is very different from financial crash of 2008.
  • Gopinath highlights need for strong public health and economic support.
  • Also this week: what business leaders see as the biggest risks.
  • Subscribe to the World Vs Virus on Apple, Soundcloud or Spotify get it every week.

Incredible: that's the word the IMF's chief economist uses to describe the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.

"We call this the Great Lockdown, because, if you look around the world, the containment measures that have been put in place ... are generating the scale of contraction and activity that are just historical numbers."

The International Monetary Fund's Gita Gopinath tells this week's World Vs Virus podcast what's needed to climb out from the Great Lockdown, and the role globalization will play.

"This is a virus that doesn't respect borders," she tells World Vs Virus. "This requires global cooperation."


Also on the podcast, the COVID-19 Risks Outlook, a survey of some 350 business leaders tells us what they sees as the biggest threats from the pandemic.

risks covid business survey
It's the economy, but also cybercrime and further health scares.
Image: World Economic Forum/Marsh & McLennan/Zurich Insurance Group

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What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.

The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.