UNITED NATIONS, September 24. /TASS/. Mankind has failed the test of the coronavirus pandemic, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday.
"The pandemic is a clear test of international cooperation - a test we have essentially failed," he pointed out. "The COVID-19 pandemic is a full-blown crisis in itself, unfolding against a backdrop of high geopolitical tensions and other global threats in unpredictable and dangerous ways. <...> It has killed nearly one million people around the world, infected over 30 million, and remains largely out of control," Guterres added.
According to him, "this was the result of a lack of global preparedness, cooperation, unity and solidarity." "COVID-19 is casting a dark shadow across the world. But it is also a warning that must spur us to action. We have no choice. Either we come together in global institutions that are fit for purpose, or we will be crushed by divisiveness and chaos," the UN chief emphasized.
"Many of the countries in the Global South have been left hanging, without financial and practical resources," Guterres noted. Moreover, "some middle-income countries face a crushing debt burden as they try to respond," he added.
UN members should ramp up financing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) so that these organizations could provide assistance to the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN secretary general stated. "And we need greater resources for the International Monetary Fund, and enhanced support for the World Bank Group and other financial institutions and bilateral mechanisms," he underlined.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the global economy will lose $6.3 trillion this year in the most optimistic scenario, shrinking by 1.5-3%. This is a less pessimistic forecast than that of other organizations. For instance, the IMF predicts the slump to reach 4.9% in 2020, while the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says the downturn will hit 6% or 7.6% in case of a second wave. Meanwhile, the World Bank’s figure stands at 5.2%. However, UNCTAD experts say that the global economy will not bounce back as significantly as the IMF and WB say it will.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
According to the latest statistics, over 32,126,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 982,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 23,699,890 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, 1,128,836 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 929,829 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 19,948 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.