‘Coronavirus Wildfire’, Millions could die: UN

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned, appealing for a global response to the pandemic

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NH Web Desk

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned, appealing for a global response to the pandemic.

"If we let the virus spread like wildfire  especially in the most vulnerable regions...

...of the world -- it would kill millions of people," Guterres said.

"Global solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is in everyone's interests," he said.

Guterres stressed on a coordinated global response to contain a "health catastrophe"

The virus has claimed more than 9,000 lives and infected more than 229,500 people around the world.

"We need to immediately move away from a situation where each country is...

...undertaking its own health strategies to one that ensures, in full transparency...

...including helping countries that are less prepared to tackle the crisis," he said.

Guterres appealed to Group of 20 nations to help out.

"A wealthy country must not be convinced that it has only to deal with its own citizens," he said.

UN has appealed to the G20 to help African and developing countries of the world.

The UN chief said. "If that support is denied, we could have catastrophic consequences.

"We could have millions of people dying and this is absolutely unacceptable."

In terms of support for the global economy, the focus should be on helping the most vulnerable

"That means wage support, insurance, social protection, preventing bankruptcies and job loss," he said.

Financial facilities are needed to support countries in difficulty, he said.

The IMF, World Bank and other institutions have a key role to play, according to UN

"And we must refrain from the temptation of resorting to protectionism," he said.

"This is the time to dismantle trade barriers and re-establish supply chains."

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