Gerry Rice hopes that the number of new infections in India would continue to decline
The International Monetary Fund stands ready to strengthen its dialogue and scale-up its technical collaboration with India, spokesperson Gerry Rice has said, observing that the human tragedy is a stark reminder that the pandemic continues to be a grave threat globally.
“Our great sympathies and support to the people of India, and what is happening there relative to the pandemic, to those who have lost their lives and are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” Rice, who is the director of the communications department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told reporters during a news conference here on Thursday.
“We are following the events in India very closely. And we hope that the number of new infections will continue to decline,” Mr. Rice added.
India has been jolted by the second wave of coronavirus which has crippled its healthcare system.
Till Thursday, India’s total of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,57,72,440 after reporting 2,76,110 new cases in the last 24 hours while the daily deaths were recorded below 4,000 after four days, taking the toll to 2,87,122, according to the Union Health Ministry data update.
Responding to a question, Mr. Rice said that the IMF continues to engage closely with the Indian authorities.
“We stand ready to strengthen our dialogue and scale-up our technical collaboration. The human tragedy in India is a stark reminder that the pandemic continues to be a grave threat globally. At the IMF we are redoubling our effort to foster global collaboration,” Rice said. The IMF welcomes the announcements by several countries to provide immediate support to India, he said reiterating that a multilateral response is critical to overcome the pandemic in India and globally.
“On the economic impact, India is an important economy globally. We will be revisiting our growth forecast for India and for the global economy in July,” he said, adding that the IMF will update it in its July World Economic Outlook Update.
“For India, on the economy, it will be critical to continue with a coordinated policy response to fight the pandemic including through accelerating the vaccination campaign, providing fiscal resources to the health sector, and social support to the most vulnerable. We see these as the immediate policy priorities,” Mr. Rice said.