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Coronavirus

Guterres: Unclear when We Will Have Effective Treatments or Vaccines against COVID-19

LONDON — The Secretary-General of the United Nations has called the ongoing coronavirus pandemic “the greatest challenge of our age” and said it’s still unclear when we will have effective treatments or vaccines against the disease.

In a virtual address to the World Health Organization’s decision-making body on Monday, Antonio Guterres echoed the WHO's repeated calls for global solidarity, saying “we are all paying a heavy price” for the sometimes contradictory national responses to the pandemic.

“Many countries have ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organization,” he said. “As a result, the virus has spread across the world and is now moving into the global south, where its impact may be even more devastating and we are risking further spikes and waves.”

Guterres said it was a “false dichotomy” to assume governments would be choosing between saving their citizens or their economies.

“Unless we control the spread of the virus, the economy will never recover,” he warned. He called for the G20 countries to urgently consider a large-scale stimulus package that would amount to a “double-digit percentage of global GDP.”

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