Virus 'major shock' to global economy: ECB

ECB chief Christine Lagarde says the COVID-19 outbreak poses "a major shock" to the global economy

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has called on governments to draw up a co-ordinated action plan to tackle what she said was "a major shock" to the global economy from the coronavirus outbreak.

She said the risk of recession depended "on the strength and the collective approach of all players".

The world can only deal with the crisis "if we come together," the ECB chief said.

The crisis, she said, had forced the ECB to delay its review of the bank's monetary operations.

The ECB early unveiled a coronavirus crisis package including boosting its bond-buying program by an extra 120 billion euros ($A210 billion) this year and offering emergency credit for banks - but it stopped short of cutting interest rates.

The ECB said it hoped its action "will support favourable financing conditions for the real economy in times of heightened uncertainty".

The Frankfurt-based bank also said it was leaving its benchmark refinancing rate on hold at a historic low of 0 per cent and its deposit rate at minus 0.5 per cent.