The fury of coronavirus illustrates the folly of war: United Nations secretary general

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2020

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Monday for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts around the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. "It attacks all, relentlessly". Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world, ' Guterres said.

He also encouraged countries to waive sanctions to allow delivery of food, health supplies, medical equipment and support for the COVID-19 crisis, saying: "This is the time for solidarity not exclusion".

The WHO chief emphasised the need for physical distancing measures like cancelling sporting events, concerts, and other large gatherings and said that it can help to slow transmission of the virus.

Speaking at United Nations headquarters in New York, Guterres said, "The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war, that is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world".

It's time to silence guns, stop artillery, end airstrikes and create corridors for life-saving aid and open windows for diplomacy, he said.

"The most vulnerable - women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced - pay the highest price", he said.

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The UN has been trying to mediate an end to conflicts in countries including Syria, Yemen and Libya, while also providing humanitarian assistance to millions of civilians.

He pointed out that the health systems in war-ravaged countries have often reached the point of total collapse, while the few health workers who remain are also seen as targets.

"Around the world, the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic are already tangible - schools are closing, already pervasive inequalities are deepening, many countries are unable to respond to the enormous needs of the elderly", he said.

The number of people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Egypt rose to 366 cases as of today, while the number of deaths rose to 19, according to Egypt's Ministry of Health.

With a population of 1.3 billion, India has gone under a complete lockdown from Wednesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested the citizens to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously which has claimed 18,901 lives globally.

Guterres said that he hoped the ceasefire would become immediate and permanent. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere.

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