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COVID-19: IMF, WTO warn against export controls on medical supplies, food

'We are concerned by supply disruptions from the growing use of export restrictions and other actions that limit trade of key medical supplies and food,' the institutions said in a joint statement.

Published: 24th April 2020 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2020 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva  (Photo | AP)

By PTI

WASHINGTON: The growing use of export restrictions by governments can be "dangerously counterproductive" as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, the IMF and WTO warned Friday.

"We are concerned by supply disruptions from the growing use of export restrictions and other actions that limit trade of key medical supplies and food," the institutions said in a joint statement.

Disruptions to supply chains and misdirection of critical productions could "prolong and exacerbate the health and economic crisis."

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The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic crossed 190,000 on Friday, with nearly two-thirds of the fatalities in Europe, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources at 0740 GMT.

A total of 190,089 people have died and 2,698,733 been infected since the virus emerged in China in December.

The hardest hit continent is Europe, with 116,221 deaths and 1,296,248 cases.

The country with the most deaths is the United States with 49,963, followed by Italy with 25,549, Spain with 22,157, France with 21,856 and Britain 18,738.

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