UN appeals for global ceasefire to fight Coronavirus pandemic


The United Nations has called on all warring parties across the globe to lay down their arms in support of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

In an appeal issued on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the ceasefire would allow humanitarians to reach populations that are most vulnerable to the spread of the deadly respiratory disease which is now threatening the whole of humankind.

Guterres called on warring parties to pull back from hostilities, put aside mistrust and animosity, and “silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes”.

He added that this is crucial “to help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy.  To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Syria has reported its first case of the COVID-19 virus, in a country already torn by 10 years of war and other cases have emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan.

Conflicts in Africa also continue to rage on in countries including Libya. In South Sudan, the United Nations has expressed concern recently about the escalation of inter-communal violence in parts of the country.  Meanwhile, tens of millions of people are internally displaced and refugees from violence across the globe.

So far, there are over 300,000 cases of COVID-19worldwide, and more than 12,700 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Experts and diplomats expect the virus to wreak havoc in countries in conflict, which often are very poor and with fragile health care systems.

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