The coronavirus pandemic is the most challenging crisis the world has faced since World War II, one that is killing people and will also lead to an economic recession without any parallel in the recent past, according to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
According to the estimates by the Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 850,500 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, and over 41,000 deaths. The US now has the highest number of cases in the world at 184,183 and more than 4,000 deaths.
"We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations - one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people's lives," Guterres said on Tuesday while launching a new report 'Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic' on the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19.
The current coronavirus pandemic was much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis, Guterres said at the virtual launch of the report.
Later, in response to a question on why he thinks the pandemic is the worst global crisis since the UN was founded, Guterres said "because it is a combination, on one hand, of a disease that represents a threat to everybody in the world and, second, because it has an economic impact that will bring a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past."
"The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is, indeed, the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War and the one that needs a stronger and more effective response that is only possible in solidarity if everybody come together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake."
The UN chief said the human crisis demands "coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world's leading economies - and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries."
Guterres called for "an immediate coordinated health response to suppress transmission and end the pandemic" that "scales up health capacity for testing, tracing, quarantine and treatment, while keeping first responders safe, combined with measures to restrict movement and contact."
He underscored that developed countries must assist those less developed, or potentially "face the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire in the global South with millions of deaths and the prospect of the disease re-emerging where it was previously suppressed."