The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis would be "significant but temporary," said Indian finance minister Rishi Sunak of India, radiating confidence that the UK economy will recover "quickly and strongly" once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.
The British Chancellor led the daily briefing on Downing Street on Tuesday, shortly after the UK's Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) published its forecast that the crisis-hit economy would hit a record 35 percent due to the freeze would shrink.
Mr. Sunak, son-in-law of Infosys chief Narayana Murthy, said the forecast is only a possible scenario, but it is still important that the government be honest with people about what is going to happen to the economy.
"It is a difficult time and there will be more. It will be difficult, our economy will suffer a major blow, and as I said, it is not an abstract thing, people will feel it in their work and in their household income," said the minister.
"But I think the measures we have taken will help, and if we get through this, it means that we can recover quickly and strongly and normalize our lives and our economies again," he said.
In its report, OBR said that a three-month ban followed by three-month restrictions would trigger an economic decline of 35.1 percent in the quarter to June alone, after growing 0.2 percent in the first three months of this year.
While the UK economy would shrink by 12.8 percent this year in this scenario, it is expected to return to its pre-crisis growth trend by the end of 2020.
"The OBR knew that the situation would be much worse if we hadn't taken the measures we had. In other words, our plan was the right one," said Sunak.
In addition to the economy, the cabinet minister announced the latest health update and announced a daily increase in the country's COVID-19 death toll from 778 to 12,107.
Mr Sunak said the numbers are a daily reminder of the importance of the UK public, which continues to adhere to the government's strict social distancing measures.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of the National Health Service, said there is growing evidence that hospitalization in London and other regions of the country has stabilized and reached a plateau as a result of the closure.
"We are beginning to see the benefits of the undisputed need that we all have to go through in terms of social distance if we don't meet with friends and family.
"It is really important that these benefits are maintained, that we continue to follow the instructions that have been given to all of us, and that we then deal with this virus," he said.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)