UNITED NATIONS, March 23. /TASS/. The United Nations is taking every step possible to implement its call for a global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Monday during a video conference with journalists accredited to the organization.
"I am launching the global appeal now. My special envoys will be now working with the parties to the conflict to try to make sure that this global appeal is not only listened to but leads to concrete action, leads to a pause in fighting, creating the conditions for the response to COVID-19 to be much more effective," he said in response to a TASS question.
Guterres also urged not to forget that "those areas that are ravaged by the conflict are areas where the capacity of response is very limited and if the fighting goes on we might have an absolutely devastating of the epidemic."
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia.
On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 330,000 people have been infected around the world and more than 15,000 have died. Russia has identified 438 cases so far, 17 patients have recovered. The Russian government has launched an Internet hotline to keep the country informed about the coronavirus situation.