Coronavirus: PM Narendra Modi said he spoke with Donald Trump on fighting COVID-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India is working closely with the US to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed thousands and infected over a million across nations.

"Had an extensive telephone conversation with President @realDonaldTrump We had a good discussion, and agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to fight COVID-19," PM Modi tweeted today.

The highly infectious COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus has led to nations imposing lockdowns to stop the spread the virus. A novel virus is one that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 cases in India, the US and other nations have been rising steadily. With businesses and flights stopped, international trade has been hit badly.

The US this week recorded 1,169 COVID-19 fatalities, the highest in one day in any country, according to a tracker at Johns Hopkins University. Worse may be coming as a quarter of global infections are in the US, where President Trump has warned of a "very, very painful" first two weeks of April.

Europe reached the dark milestone of 40,000 dead, with Spain on Friday reporting more than 900 deaths in the past 48 hours.

Prosperous countries have borne the brunt of the disease, but there are fears of an explosion among the world's most vulnerable living in conflict zones or refugee camps. "The worst is yet to come," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, referring to countries such as Syria, Libya and Yemen. "The COVID-19 storm is now coming to all these theatres of conflict." 

The world economy has been pummelled by the virus and the associated lockdowns, with the US economy shedding over seven lakh jobs in March -- its worst showing since March 2009 in the wake of the subprime banking crisis. Even more dire figures are expected for April.

The situation is no better in Europe, where the Irish central bank said the country's economic output could be slashed by 8.3 per cent this year. China's central bank became the latest to announce special stimulus measures when it cut reserve requirements for smaller banks in order to release around $56 billion in liquidity.

The novel coronavirus is believed to have come from bats, but researchers think it might have spread to humans via another mammal such as pangolins through an unsanitary meat market in Wuhan.

The virus has chiefly killed the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, but recent deaths among teenagers and babies have highlighted the dangers for people of all ages.