Coronavirus latest: 21,000 dead as UN warns of ‘threat to humanity’
As the number of confirmed cases worldwide neared half a million, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warning that only a concerted global effort could stop the spread of the virus.
More than three billion people are living under lockdown measures as soaring death tolls in Europe and the US underlined a United Nations warning that the coronavirus pandemic threatens all of humanity.
The global death toll from the virus now stands at more than 21,000, with Spain joining Italy in seeing its number of fatalities overtake China, where the virus first emerged just three months ago.
“Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity – and the whole of humanity must fight back,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, launching an appeal for US$2 billion to help the world’s poor.
“Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough.”
The G20 major economies will hold an emergency videoconference on Thursday to discuss a global response to the crisis, as will the 27 leaders of the European Union, the outbreak’s new epicentre.
The economic damage of the virus – and the lockdowns – could also be devastating, with fears of a worldwide recession worse than the financial meltdown more than a decade ago.