UN Secretary-General says humanity so far losing war against virus

UN Secretary-General says humanity so far losing war against virus
  • Clock-gray 22:49
  • calendar-gray 26 March 2020

G20 leaders should work out a joint "war-time" plan to emerge victorious in the fight against coronavirus, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the G20 virtual summit held as a video conference on Thursday, APA reports citing TASS.

"We are at war with a virus - and not winning it," he stressed. "It took the world three months to reach 100,000 confirmed cases of infection. The next 100,000 happened in just 12 days. The third took four days. The fourth, just one and a half," Guterres noted.

"This war needs a war-time plan to fight it," the UN Secretary-General emphasized. "Solidarity is essential. Among the G-20 - and with the developing world, including countries in conflict."

Guterres then proceeded the three key areas where he believes G20 efforts are crucial - suppression of COVID-19 transmission as quickly as possible, minimization of the social and economic impact and setting the stage for "a recovery that builds a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable economy." He also again called on all states to introduce a ceasefire.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 150 countries.

On March 11, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. As of now, over 457,000 people have been infected around the world and more than 21,000 have died. Russia identified 840 cases, while 38 people recovered, and two people died.

The G20 leaders met via video conference on Thursday at the virtual summit inaccessible to press. The summit participants discussed coordination of actions to tackle the coronavirus spread and economic fallout of the pandemic.

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