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Guterres demands coordinated global response to coronavirus crisis

United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday, March 19, 2020 said that the world was at war with a virus and called for global leaders to offer an urgent and coordinated response to the pandemic.

António Guterres
UN chief António Guterres in Tuvalu. Photo credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

“Current responses at the country level will not address the global scale and complexity of the crisis.

“We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply,’’ the secretary general told reporters in a virtual briefing.

Guterres stressed that “we are only as strong as the weakest health system’’ and urged countries to scale up health spending and help others that are less prepared for the outbreak.

He also said containing the spread of the coronavirus was critical.

“If we let the virus spread like wildfire, especially in the most vulnerable regions of the world,  it would kill millions of people,’’ he warned.

The UN chief also emphasized the need for global economic solidarity and the alleviation of the most vulnerable nations’ debt burden.

“A global recession  perhaps of record dimensions  is a near certainty,’’ Guterres said.

He noted that the UN would support governments to ensure society and the global economy would emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis.

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