Coronavirus can be controlled with “prudence”, “not panic”: UN chief

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that we can fight the spread of the coronavirus through prudence, not through panic.

Admitting that it is “absolutely natural” to be anxious and confused when facing “a health threat”, Guterres said, “Even though the situation has been classified as a pandemic, it is one we can control. We can slow down transmissions, prevent infections and save lives. But that will take unprecedented personal, national and international action.”

“The social and economic fallout from the combination of the pandemic and slowing economies will affect most of us for some months.”

He said that the economy will peak, but, “Until then, we must act together to slow the spread of the virus and look after each other.”

“This is a time for prudence, not panic. Science, not stigma.  Facts, not fear.”

He added, “COVID-19 is our common enemy.  We must declare war on this virus.  That means countries have a responsibility to gear up, step up and scale up. “

He said, "We can limit the disease by implementing effective containment strategies; by activating and enhancing emergency response systems; by dramatically increasing testing capacity and care for patients; by readying hospitals, ensuring they have the space, supplies and needed personnel; and by developing life-saving medical interventions.”

He added the United Nations economists estimate that the virus could cost the global economy at least $1 trillion this year – and perhaps far more.

"No country can do it alone. More than ever, governments must cooperate to revitalize economies, expand public investment, boost trade, and ensure targeted support for the people and communities most affected by the disease or more vulnerable to the negative economic impacts – including women who often shoulder a disproportionate burden of care work.”

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