Daily US Times, New York: UN Secretary General António Guterres has said that the current coronavirus outbreak is the biggest challenge for the world since World War Two.
The global pandemic could bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past”, he warned.
His warning comes amid dire predictions about the possible economic impact of measures imposed to fight the virus.
The death toll is mounting across the world while many countries is facing a surge.
According to John Hopkins University data, more than 42,000 people died from the virus so far and 860,000 people have been infected.
The death toll in the US is now more than 4,000 – higher than the declared number of fatalities in China, where the outbreak began late last year.
In the US, 865 people had died in the past 24 hours and more than 189,000 people in the country had been infected, the current highest in the world.
Both the US federal and state governments are taking sweeping measures to contain the outbreak. About three out of four Americans are now, or about to be, under some form of lockdown.
Meanwhile, Spain has reported 849 deaths in the last 24 hours – – the highest number it has had in a single day, as the country became second only to Italy in the number of recorded fatalities.
In the UK, a rise of 381 took the death toll to 1,789.
King’s College Hospital Trust in London said a 13-year-old boy was among the victims.
Among the victims was a 13-year-old boy.
What did the UN chief say?
The UN chief was speaking at the UN headquarters in New York at the launch of a report on the potential socioeconomic impact of the outbreak. He said: “The new coronavirus disease is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods”.
To curb the spread of the virus, countries around the world have imposed a series of measures, including restricting people’s movements and closing most businesses.
According to the estimate of UN report, up to 25 million jobs could be lost around the world as the result of the outbreak and the report also projects an up to 40% “downward pressure” on global foreign direct investment flows.
Mr Guterres urged the industrialized nations to help those less developed, or potentially “face the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire”.