In a blog post published Monday, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said the human costs of the coronavirus epidemic have risen "at an alarming rate." She said governments should consider measures like cash transfers, wage subsidies or tax relief, while central banks should be prepared to provide liquidity to banks and companies, as the epidemic disrupts supply chains and consumer demand around the world.
"The goal is to prevent a temporary crisis from permanently harming people and firms through job losses and bankruptcies," Gopinath wrote.
The World Health Organization has reported more than 100,000 cases of the coronavirus globally, resulting in more than 3,600 deaths. The virus has disrupted global manufacturing and rattled financial markets.
"Broader monetary stimulus such as policy rate cuts or asset purchases can lift confidence and support financial markets if there is a marked risk of a sizable tightening in financial conditions," Gopinath said.