Coronavirus cases around the world reached the two million total mark today, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States leads the total confirmed cases with 610,774 followed by Spain at 117,633 and Italy at 162,488. At the same time, the number of total recoveries passed 500,000.
The economic impact on businesses has been significant due to the restrictions put in place to fight the coronavirus. In the US, retail sales suffered a record drop due to shut down stores and restricted people’s movement. The International Monetary Fund is expecting the global economy to shrink by about three percent this year – the biggest contraction since the Great Depression.
Breaking News: U.S. retail sales suffered the biggest plunge on record in March, dropping 8.7% as the coronavirus pandemic shut stores and wallets https://t.co/DSXrlvqzSh
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 15, 2020
To minimize the economic damage done by the pandemic, countries are looking to begin lifting restrictions on people’s movement as early as possible. For example, Germany plans to begin reopening parts of the economy on Monday, April 20. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, has floated the possibility that parts of the U.S. may be able to start loosening restrictions in May. However, health experts remain to be vary of a resurgence in the number of cases surging and a second wave of cases.
Meanwhile, President Trump announced that the US would cease its funding of the World Health Organization.