Gabon Declares State of Emergency Over Covid-19, Revises Outlook

(Bloomberg) --

Gabon has declared a state of emergency and adjusted its economic forecasts in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Preliminary estimates show the central African economy could shrink between 0.3% and 2.7% this year, Prime Minister Julien Nkoghe Bekale said in an address to the nation on Friday night. He added the pandemic could leave a hole of as much as 645 billion CFA francs ($1.1 billion) in the budget.

The government is drafting legislation to adjust spending plans. OPEC’s second-smallest member secured $147 million from the International Monetary Fund on Friday to support its efforts to contain the virus and the economic damage it causes.

The state of emergency will be in place “throughout the period of the epidemic,” Nkoghe Bekale said.

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