Coronavirus update: Countries urged to fight ‘controllable’ pandemic

UN Photo/Loey Felipe At UN Headquarters in New York, many staff have left the building in order to work at home.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


With the COVID-19 outbreak now a pandemic, countries should not let up on efforts to fight its spread, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said in Geneva on Thursday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was speaking during his regular update on the new coronavirus disease, one day after the new designation was announced.

“Let me be clear: describing this as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up.  On the contrary, we have to double-down”, he said.

“This is a controllable pandemic. Countries that decide to give up on fundamental public health measures may end up with a larger problem, and a heavier burden on the health system that requires more severe measures to control”.

WHO ‘working day and night’

COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, China last December. As of Thursday, there were nearly 125,000 cases in 118 countries and territories.

Tedros said WHO has been “working day and night” to support countries in their response.

The agency also is working with the World Economic Forum and the International Chambers of Commerce to engage the private sector, and also with the global football association, FIFA.

Additionally, more than $440 million has been pledged to WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. 

“This is a new virus and a new situation. We’re all learning and we must all find new ways to prevent infections, save lives, and minimize impact. All countries have lessons to share”, he said.

More meetings cancelled at UN Headquarters

The UN Spokesperson told journalists in New York on Thursday that the Secretary General António Guterres “has taken the decision to cancel all United Nations system sponsored side events at Headquarters, from 16 March until the end of April, effective immediately.”

Stéphane Dujarric said the UN chief was calling on all Member States to consider cancelling all side events for meetings that they are sponsoring.

In a letter to Member States, Mr. Guterres said there was a three-phase response activation system to manage and coordinate health emergencies in place, with UN Headquarters in New York currently in phase two, which is an “active risk reduction mode”.

This includes taking measures for social distancing in the workplace and assessing the criticality of travel and meetings against associated risks.

“As you know, the UN building has been closed to visitors and the Secretariat has instituted arrangements for staff to telecommute to reduce the population density in the building”, said Mr. Dujarric, “thereby reducing the risk of transmission.”

The Spokesperson noted that “since the beginning of the outbreak”, the Secretary-General had been “balancing the safety and security of staff and representatives of Member States with the need to ensure that the work of the Organization continues, here and around the world.”

Potential economic ‘volatility’ in Latin America and the Caribbean

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected everything from international travel to work schedules.

It is also “a new potential source of volatility” in Latin America and the Caribbean due to the region’s significant links with China through trade, foreign direct investment and loans, according to a senior official with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Luis Felipe López-Calva, UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, reported that trade with China increased from $12 billion in 2000 to $306 billion in 2018.

China also contributed more than $90 billion in foreign direct investment between 2005-2017.

However, with China’s first-quarter growth expected to fall sharply and recover later in the year, there might be implications for the region: “While it is still too early to fully understand its impact on China’s growth, and how it will result in a slowdown in our region, what we know so far is that COVID-19 is spreading at an accelerated rate and has caused a disruption to China’s economy”, Mr. López-Calva wrote in a recent article published in The Washington Post.

“The impact of the virus on Chinese growth and commodity prices is also likely to be a shock to our region”.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The ‘ASEAN way’: what it is, how it must change for the future

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Colombia: Santos thanks the EU for its support to the peace process

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

How responsible businesses can step forward to fight coronavirus

Colourism: How skin-tone bias affects racial equality at work

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

Technology is a means, not an end

Sexual education in a school at the Brazilian Amazon

How do we design an inclusive energy transition?

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

Financial system risk is elevated and global standards are essential in managing cross-border infrastructure investment

The different ways of care: Is there a general rule to follow?

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

China in my eyes

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

These are the fastest trains in the world

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

EU-UK: A deal synonymous to ‘remain’, England pays the Irish price

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

Vote at 16 in Malta: next stop Europe

Britain offers more money for an orderly Brexit but the Irish question resurges

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

South Sudan: ‘Outraged’ UN experts say ongoing widespread human rights violations may amount to war crimes

7 amazing ways artificial intelligence is used in healthcare

Learn from the margin, not the center: digital innovation with social impact as transformative force bridging digital divide

Eurozone cannot endure any longer youth marginalisation

‘Young people care about peace’: UN Youth Envoy delivers key message to Security Council

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

Energy Union: deals on efficiency targets and governance

3 charts to help you understand the American shale boom

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Germany takes cover from Trump in Eurozone and decides to pay for it

Europe provides financial support to African countries while Turkey denies to change terrorism laws jeopardising the EU deal

Environment Committee MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

Trump doesn’t only target Germany, aims to crack the entire EU

Commission unveils its first Strategic Foresight Report: charting the course towards a more resilient Europe

The Council of Europe adopts Recommendation on young people’s access to rights

Peacekeeping chief highlights challenges facing UN Police

Brazil identifies a clear pathway for aligning its transfer pricing framework with the OECD standard

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

War in Syria: ‘Carnage’, flouting of rights and international law, must stop: Guterres

South Africa’s cabinet is now 50% women for the first time ever

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s