BBC News. Hello, I'm Jerry Smit. The effects of the corona virus pandemic have led to fears about a recession with markets falling sharply in Europe and one of the continent's largest car makers stopping production. The worst-hit exchanges have dropped by 9%, despite concerted action by central banks. Markets in the Asia-Pacific region also closed down as our Asia-Pacific business correspondent Karishma Vaswani reports.
This is despite the fact that central banks have pulled out all the stops to try and inject some confidence into these markets. The measures themselves are unprecedented since the global financial crisis, but the response from investors has been abysmal. They're just not buying it. Investors simply don't believe that the weapons these banks have, injecting more money into the economy, lowering interest rates. They don't believe that that will be enough to support economic growth or the stock market in the face of a global recession because of the impact of the corona virus as it spreads throughout the world. Restrictions continue to tighten across Europe as the coronavirus crisis deepens, with more countries closing borders and limiting people's movements.
Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister of the worst-hit European country Italy, has warned it's entering its riskiest weeks. Our correspondent Sima Kotecha is in Rome. It's a dire situation here. 368 people confirmed dead over the last 24 hours, almost 25,000 cases in Italy alone, most in the north of the country. Hospitals there incredibly stretched, doctors saying that they're running out of essential kits, such as ventilators and masks. And there is a concern that this outbreak that is dominating in the north could move down south.
The head of France's health service Jerome Salomon has said the situation there is deteriorating very fast. President Macron will address the nation later today amid speculation he could confine people to their homes as Hugh Schofield reports from Paris. Certain ministers looked at scenes that were on the television and newspapers over the weekend of people still out there in parks, hobnobbing, socializing and so on, and were quite horrified that the message they thought was still not getting through as a lovely weekend. Here in Paris, a lot of people are out in the parks, gathering together. And there's the rumor mill. It's churning herein Paris about possible new measures that might come in, emulating more the Italian, Spanish situation where people are actually confined to their homes.
The number of confirmed corona virus cases and deaths outside China has now surpassed the number in China where the pandemic began. According to a corona virus tracker, more than 87, 000 people have been infected outside China, while just over 80, 000 cases have been reported in China. BBC news.