Governments are throwing trillions of dollars at rescuing their economies from the Covid-19 pandemic, but how can they afford it all, and whatever happened to austerity?
How much debt are governments running up? How much will markets be willing to lend? Can central banks help with the financing without risking their independence or undermining confidence in the currency? Who will ultimately repay the debts? And having made such huge interventions to contain the virus, will governments continue to play a much bigger role in running the economy in the future?
Manuela Saragosa follows the money with the help of the BBC's global trade correspondent Dharshini David, and economist and former UK Treasury official Richard Hughes of the Resolution Foundation think tank.
(Picture: Benjamin Franklin on the 100 dollar bill wears a face mask against Covid-19 infection; Credit: Diy13/Getty Images)
Coronavirus pushes Europe to the edge
As the deaths and economic damage from Covid-19 continue to rise, Italians are asking why the EU is doing so little to help in their time of need.
The pandemic is reinfecting old wounds in the EU, reopening the divide between the wealthy north and the heavily indebted south. In Italy angry citizens have taken to burning the EU flag in viral YouTube clips (pictured). There are calls for "coronabonds" to finance a rescue package for the hardest hit nations, but Germany and the Netherlands remain reticent.
Business Daily's Manuela Saragosa - herself half-Italian, half-Dutch - asks journalist Antonello Guerrera of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, whether the country could turn its back on Europe. Dutch political economist Jerome Roos of the London School of Economics says the EU's future is at stake. We ask Clemens Fuest of the IFO German economics think tank whether Chancellor Angela Merkel is prepared to make an act of historic European solidarity.
Producer: Laurence Knight
Will there be a vaccine?
A vaccine is the magic bullet that would end the coronavirus pandemic, but how many months will it take to find, and will it be available to all?
Justin Rowlatt speaks to a pioneering researcher of coronaviruses - not just the one behind the current Covid-19 outbreak. Susan Weiss of Pennsylvania University says the fact it was such a neglected area was one of the things that first attracted her to study these microbes. Today we know much more, but still not enough about how to inoculate against it, according to Leeds University virologist Stephen Griffin.
But with dozens of medical companies now racing to find a cure, the big question is whether governments will make it available to everyone who needs it on the planet - the only certain way to defeat the pandemic - and who will pay for it? Healthcare venture capitalist Peter Kolchinsky is positive that when a vaccine is found, the businesspeople behind it will do the right thing.
Producer: Laurence Knight
(Picture: A researcher in Brazil works on virus replication in order to develop a Covid-19 vaccine; Credit: Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images)
Coronavirus: The race to find a treatment
Researchers at universities and pharmaceutical companies are rushing to identify drugs that might help cut the number of deaths from Covid-19 and take the strain of hospitals.
Justin Rowlatt speaks to Richard Marsden, the chief executive of one such company, Synairgen. He hopes that a medicine his company originally developed to help asthma and flu sufferers could also now be put to use in alleviating the lung infections of Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile virologist Stephen Griffin of Leeds University in the UK explains the three main ways in which existing drugs might be used to attack the virus. Plus Theodora Bloom of the British Medical Journal tells Justin about her night job at the online research sharing server MedRxiv, which has played a central role in helping researchers get immediate access to each other's work, accelerating their response to the pandemic.
Producer: Laurence Knight
(Picture: Medical worker wearing protective gear treats a patient infected with the Covid-19 at the intensive care unit in Prague; Credit: Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)
Coronavirus in confinement
While much of the world is trying to practice social distance, people in confinement have little option to do so. We take a look at the famously overcrowded prisons in Uganda. Doreen Namyalo Kyazze, Africa Programme Manager at Penal Reform International, says the Uganda prison service are not doing anything to contain the virus while a spokesperson for the service says they’re doing all they can. There’s also the tens of millions of refugees and displaced people around the world, many in confinement. Dr. Siyana Mahroof-Shaffi is a healthcare practitioner working in the Moria detention centre on the Greek island of Lesbos. She says the consequences of an outbreak in the camp are unimaginable. And Dr. Josiah Rich, professor of epidemiology at Brown University and prison physician, explains why those who think we don’t need to worry about prisoners are wrong.
(Picture: a group of asylum seekers at the Moria detention centre. Picture credit: Getty images.)