The Un Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world is “at war” against COVID-19.
Addressing the opening of the World Health Organization’s annual assembly of member states recently, the UN Chief decried the “tsunami of suffering” sparked by the coronavirus crisis.
He pointed out that more than 3.4 million people have died, and some 500 million jobs have disappeared since the disease first surfaced in China in late 2019.
“The most vulnerable are suffering most, and I fear this is far from over,” Guterres said.
He noted the inequities between rich and poor countries and the negative impact that could result if a wholistic approach is not taken to treat with the current pandemic situation.
“Sadly, unless we act now, we face a situation in which rich countries vaccinate the majority of their people and open their economies, while the virus continues to cause deep suffering by circling and mutating in the poorest countries,” he said.
“Further spikes and surges could claim hundreds of thousands of lives, and slow the global economic recovery,” he said, insisting that “COVID-19 cannot be beaten one country at a time.”
Faced with this dire situation, Guterres urged recognition of the fact that “we are at war with a virus”.
“We need the logic and urgency of a war economy, to boost the capacity of our weapons,” he said.
The UN Chief recently appealed to the G20 countries to set up a task force that brings together all countries with vaccine production capacities and others who can help boost the manufacturing of vaccines and other tools needed to battle COVID-19.
“It should aim to at least double manufacturing capacity by exploring all options, from voluntary licenses and technology transfers to patent pooling and flexibility on intellectual property rights,” he said.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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