Palestinian construction workers build a field hospital, Monday, March 23, to quarantine coronavirus patients in the war-torn Gaza Strip, where two cases have been reported.

READ MORE: The International Monetary Fund is urging governments in the Middle East to take immediate action to blunt a likely economic setback that could arise from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Jihad Azour, the IMF’s regional director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said in a report Tuesday that the pandemic “has become the largest near-term challenge to the region.”

Azour said the rapid spread of COVID-19, coupled with the lowering of crude oil prices due to the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, will deal a severe blow to economic activity in the region, especially in the tourism and hospitality fields, bringing with it rising joblessness and falling wages.

LINK: https://www.voanews.com/science-health/coronavirus-outbreak/imf-warns-ec...

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