The current coronavirus outbreak is the biggest challenge for the world since World War Two, UN Secretary General António Guterres has warned.
He said it could bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past”.
His warning comes amid dire predictions about the possible economic impact of measures imposed to fight the virus.
The world is facing an unprecedented test. And this is the moment of truth. Societies are in turmoil and economies are in a nose-dive, he said.
The International Monetary Fund has reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009.
He urged “It is essential that developed countries immediately assist those less developed to bolster their health systems and their response capacity to stop transmission .Otherwise we face the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire in the global South with millions of deaths and the prospect of the disease re-emerging where it was previously suppressed.”
Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world. The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy, he further added.
The number of confirmed cases around the world is now nearing 860,000, with more than 42,000 deaths.