Updated January 16th, 2021 at 20:20 IST

COVID-19: UN Secretary-General calls for global coordination as death toll tops 2 million

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on January 15 called for globally coordinated efforts to be stepped up as the death toll from COVID-19 topped two million.

Reported by: Bhavya Sukheja
Edited by: Bhavya Sukheja
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on January 15 called for globally coordinated efforts to be stepped up as the death toll from coronavirus topped two million. While calling the two million count “heart-wrenching milestone”, Guterres noted that the impact of the pandemic has worsened and further said that “vaccinationalism” by governments is “self-defeating” that will delay a global recovery. It is worth noting that it took eight months to hit one million dead, but the grim milestone of two million reached in less than four months. 

The UN Chief said, “Our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone: the COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed two million lives. Behind this staggering number are names and faces: the smile now only a memory, the seat forever empty at the dinner table, the room that echoes with the silence of a loved one”. 

READ: UN: Pandemic Reduced Migrants By 2 Million By Mid-2020

‘Science is succeeding but solidarity is failing’ 

He added that the deadly impact of the pandemic has been made worse by the absence of a global coordinated effort and called for the world to act with far greater solidarity in the “memory of those two million souls”. Guterres said that as safe and effective coronavirus vaccines are being rolled out, the world is seeing a “vaccine vacuum”. Further, he warned that the virus cannot be beaten one country at a time and further voiced concern that vaccines are reaching high-income countries quickly, while the poorest have none at all. 

“Science is succeeding but solidarity is failing. Some countries are pursuing side deals, even procuring beyond need. Governments have a responsibility to protect their populations, but 'vaccinationalism' is self-defeating and will delay a global recovery, he said.

“Our world can only get ahead of this virus one way together. Global solidarity will save lives, protect people and help defeat this vicious virus, he added.

READ: UN Agency Predicts 'prolonged Depressed Demand' For Air Travel In 2021 Amid COVID-19

Moreover, the UN Chief said that the agency is supporting countries to mobilise the largest global immunisation effort in history and the world organisation is committed to making sure that vaccines are seen as global public goods people's vaccines. He stressed that the manufacturers need to step up their commitment to work with the COVAX facility and countries around the world to ensure enough supply and fair distribution. Guterres also added that the world must boost vaccine confidence and knowledge with effective communication grounded in facts. 

(With inputs from PTI) 

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Published January 16th, 2021 at 20:20 IST

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