Coronavirus the worst global crisis since WW II, says UN chief
In this file photo taken on February 24, 2020 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres looks on at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council's main annual session in Geneva. The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said March 31, 2020, expressing concern that it could trigger conflicts around the world.
AFP/Fabrice Coffrini
Coronavirus the worst global crisis since WW II, says UN chief
(Agence France-Presse) - April 1, 2020 - 8:34am

UNITED NATIONS, United States — The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday, expressing concern that it could trigger conflicts around the world.

Guterres said that the scale of the crisis was due to "a disease that represents a threat to everybody in the world and... 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 the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War," he told reporters.

The New York-based United Nations was founded at the end of the war in 1945 and has 193 member states.

"A stronger and more effective response... is only possible in solidarity if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake," Guterres added.

More than 40,000 people have been killed so far as the disease spreads across the world, and causes economic devastation.

"We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences," Guterres warned, pointing to unemployment, the collapse of small firms and vulnerable people in the informal economy.

"We are slowly moving in the right direction, but we need to speed up, and we need to do much more if we want to defeat the virus."

The UN on Tuesday created a new fund to help developing countries after last week appealing for donations for poor and conflict-hit nations.

Beyond traditional aid from rich countries "we need to have innovative financial instruments," so that developing nations are able to respond to the crisis, Guterres said.

He warned that the coronavirus outbreak could return from poorer countries, especially in Africa, to hit wealthy countries again, and that millions could die.

ANTONIO GUTERRES NOVEL CORONAVIRUS UNITED NATIONS WORLD WAR II
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 27, 2020 - 4:12pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

November 27, 2020 - 4:12pm

The Department of Health reports 1,631 additional coronavirus cases. This brings the nationall tally to  425,918.

Of the confirmed cases, 30,047 are registered active. There are 370 more recoveries and 46 new fatalities.

November 27, 2020 - 12:14pm

An official says Germany's coronavirus infections pass one million.

November 26, 2020 - 5:37pm

Russia on Thursday registered record numbers for daily infections and deaths from the coronavirus for the second time in less than a week. 

Health officials reported 25,487 new infections, bringing the national total to 2,187,990 cases since the beginning of the pandemic — the fifth-highest caseload in the world.

Health authorities also reported 524 deaths, raising Russia's total fatalities from COVID-19 to 38,062. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 2:14pm

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

New infections also emerged within the military, including dozens of newly enlisted soldiers at a boot camp — prompting the defense ministry to bolster its virus measures. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 1:29pm

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. — AFP

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