March 4, 2020 / 5:24 PM / a month ago

Countries should prepare in case coronavirus outbreak worsens - IMF

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will act very quickly to handle requests for zero- and low-interest loans from countries hit by the fast-spreading coronavirus, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC on Wednesday.

Georgieva said the IMF had $50 billion in such assistance available for quick disbursement. She emphasized the need for concerted and immediate action by countries around the world to contain the spread of the disease that originated in China.

“Now is the time to put in place precautionary measures should the outbreak become more severe,” she told CNBC, adding that small- and medium-sized businesses and workers could need help if they were unable to return to work. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal And Lindsay Dunsmuir Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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