With the numbers of new cases dropping in China, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the United States could soon be the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
The speculation by WHO came as Britain went into lockdown and Olympic organizers postponed the Tokyo 2020 games until next year.
On the economic side, business activity collapsed from Australia and Japan to Western Europe at a record pace in March, with data for the United States pretty much just as dire.
“The coronavirus outbreak represents a major external shock to the macro outlook, akin to a large-scale natural disaster,” analysts at BlackRock Investment Institute said.
However the Dow Jones did rally on Tuesday in anticipation of the $trillion coronavirus stimulus package expected to soon be passed by the Sentate.
WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said in Geneva there had been a “very large acceleration” in coronavirus infections in the United States which had the potential of becoming the new epicenter.
Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, she told reporters. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States.
Asked whether the United States could become the new epicenter, Harris said, “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential. We cannot say that is the case yet but it does have that potential.”