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COVID-19: The world is at war and going into recession– UN chief



The world is at war with coronavirus, and global recession – perhaps, of record dimensions – is a near certainty, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, has said.

Mr Guterres, in a video on the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak on the world on Thursday, called for more commitment from governments to combat the effect the outbreak will have on economies.

He said the world ‘is at war with a virus’ and warned that ‘a global recession — perhaps of record dimensions — is a near certainty.

“We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the UN— one that is spreading human suffering, infecting the global economy and upending people’s lives,” he said.

Mr Guterres said the international labour organisation across the world could lose as much as 3.4 trillion dollars in income by the end of the year.

He added that above the crisis, the effect on humans, especially the vulnerable, would be disastrous if governments do not intervene by doing things differently.

The human crisis he said, calls for solidarity, as the human family is stressed and the social fabric is being torn.

This is evident in the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the world and deaths reported from the disease.

Many people cannot be in touch with their families or relatives even when they are at the point of death.

This is already having a psychological effect on many people who have lost people to the disease.

“My central message is clear, we are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply,” he said.

“We cannot resort to the usual tools in such unusual times. The creativity of the response must match the unique nature of the crisis and the magnitudes of the response must match its scale. Our world faces a common enemy. We are at war with a virus.”

COVID-19 has killed people as well as attacking the real economy at its core, trades, supply chain, businesses, jobs, entire countries and cities are on lock-down while, borders are closing.

Mr Guterres said while the battle against the virus is ongoing, the world needs to find new ways mitigate the devastating outcome of the virus.

“People are suffering, sick and being scared and the current response level will not address the global scale and complexity of the crisis.

“This is a moment that demands coordinated, decisive and innovative policy action from the World’s leading economies.

“We must recognize that the poor and the vulnerable, especially the women – will be the hardest hit.

“I welcome the decision by G20 leaders to convene an emergency summit to respond to the epic challenge pose by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“More than ever before, we need solidarity, hope and the political will to see this crisis through together,” he said.

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