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Coronavirus the worst global crisis since World War II: United Nations chief

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The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday, expressing concern that it could trigger conflicts around the world.

Guterres said that the scale of the crisis was due to “a disease that represents a threat to everybody in the world and… an economic impact that will bring a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past.”

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“The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War,” he told reporters.

The New York-based United Nations was founded at the end of the war in 1945 and has 193 member states.

“A stronger and more effective response… is only possible in solidarity if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake,” Guterres added.

More than 40,000 people have been killed so far as the disease spreads across the world, and causes economic devastation.

“We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences,” Guterres warned, pointing to unemployment, the collapse of small firms and vulnerable people in the informal economy.

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“We are slowly moving in the right direction, but we need to speed up, and we need to do much more if we want to defeat the virus.”

The UN on Tuesday created a new fund to help developing countries after last week appealing for donations for poor and conflict-hit nations.

Beyond traditional aid from rich countries “we need to have innovative financial instruments,” so that developing nations are able to respond to the crisis, Guterres said.

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He warned that the coronavirus outbreak could return from poorer countries, especially in Africa, to hit wealthy countries again, and that millions could die.


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Scientists warn of ‘superspreaders’ as Americans flock back to restaurants, salons and churches

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SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t... (more…)

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Justice Roberts took ‘clear swipe’ at Kavanaugh in opinion siding with liberals in religion case: report

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On Friday night, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, holding that California Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictions on church gatherings are not a violation of religious liberty. Chief Justice John Roberts crossed over to join with the liberals for a 5-4 split.

But the ruling was dramatic in a key way. As court watcher Mark Joseph Stern wrote for Slate, Justice Brett Kavanaugh "falsely accused the state of religious discrimination in an extremely misleading opinion that omits the most important facts of the case" in his dissent — and was so dishonest that Roberts went out of his way to rebuke him in the Court opinion.

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2020 Election

Trump opened the door for the deaths we’re seeing

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Years before the nation's nursing homes experienced a heavy COVID-19 death toll, the Trump administration rolled back the federal rules and regulations put in place by the Obama administration aimed at improving infection control in these kinds of facilities.

This article first appeared in Salon

In an October 2016 edition of the Federal Register, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services published rules and regulations requiring long term care facilities "to develop an Infection Prevention and Control Program that includes an Antibiotic Stewardship Program and designate at least one Infection Preventionist"

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