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'Coronavirus is wake-up call for world' -The Asian Age



The coronavirus pandemic should serve as a "wake-up call" to the world which must be more united in responding to the crisis, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Monday. The secretary-general said COVID-19 was the "greatest challenge of our age" and had demonstrated the world's fragility, as nations went their own way in tackling the pandemic.

Guterres said the crisis was an opportunity to rebuild a better world -- but he questioned whether countries were up to it.

Despite great scientific and technological advances in recent decades, a virus had "brought us to our knees", the United Nations chief said at the start of a virtual meeting of the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Health Assembly, reports AFP. He said the pandemic had exposed the frailties not just in health systems but in international institutions, tackling the climate crisis, cyber-security and nuclear disarmament.

"COVID-19 must be a wake-up call.

It is time for an end to the hubris," Guterres said, slamming countries for their disjointed approach.

"We have seen some solidarity, but very little unity in our response to COVID-19."

"Different countries have followed different, sometimes contradictory strategies and we are all paying a heavy price."

"Many countries have ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organization."

"As a result, the virus has spread across the world."

He said COVID-19 was now spreading in the southern hemisphere, where its impact might be "even more devastating".