Coronavirus global health emergency

Close up shot of a woman's hands: one hand holds a smart phone with the browser open to a page on the WHO's website, the other hand is making notes on a printout.

UN joins forces with new partners to share vital information about coronavirus

From teaming up with some of the world’s best-known football stars and popular local musicians, to launching a direct messaging campaign with Whatsapp, the United Nations is joining forces with new partners to share vital information about coronavirus. “We have to use all possible ways to carry the message of hope and safety,” says the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Costa Rica.

Secretary-General António Guterres
António Guterres

All hands on deck to fight a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic

Only by coming together will the world be able to face down the COVID-19 pandemic and its shattering consequences. At an emergency virtual meeting last Thursday, G20 leaders took steps in the right direction.  But we are still far away from having a coordinated, articulated global response that meets the unprecedented magnitude of what we are facing. We must prepare for the worst and do everything to avoid it.  Here is a three-point call to action -- based on science, solidarity and smart policies -- for doing just that.

A man helps another put on protective goggles and full safety gear in a training session.
Department of Global Communications

UN supports Latin American countries in urgent effort to stop COVID-19 spread

With coronavirus transmission on the rise in most Latin American countries, there is a small window of opportunity for Governments to slow the spread of the virus, reduce the impact on health systems and save lives, the United Nations’ specialized health agency in the region has warned, calling for urgent action. "This pandemic is serious, and we need to do everything in our power to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our people,” says Carissa F. Etienne, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director.

Secretary-General António Guterres
António Guterres

"The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy"

31 MARCH 2020—The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods. The potential longer-term effects on the global economy and those of individual countries are dire. In a new report, Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, the United Nations Secretary-General calls on everyone to act together to address this impact and lessen the blow to people. 

WHO poster

WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

This page brings together information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations regarding the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates. WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

Updates and resources

What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Find out more about this novel coronavirus (nCoV) that has not been previously identified in humans.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19? How can I protect myself? Should I worry about COVID-19? Get the answers.

passenger with mask

Information from the UN System

Everyone is talking about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Be sure to get your facts from reliable sources. The UN offices, field missions, agencies, funds and programmes are providing new information as it becomes available. Here are some of their resource pages.

People in a meeting room

Information for UN personnel worldwide

Are you supposed to travel, or have you just returned from an area with on-going transmission of COVID-19? Do you want to find the latest advice on prevention? This page features important advisories, guidelines, resources, and materials on the COVID-19 outbreak for all UN duty stations, offices, personnel and their families, visitors, and UN healthcare workers. It is updated with the latest available information.

UN Headquarters in New York

Information for UN personnel in New York

The United Nations is closely monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City, as well as the region where staff live – New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut. This page features important information that is specific to the UN Headquarters and to the locations near the HQ. It is focused on staff and their families, but includes advice for staff of delegations, as well. It will be regularly updated as changes occur in the HQ and in the region.

view from above of worker sewing masks

1 April 2020 - When face masks stocks began running low in the Czech Republic, minority communities, including the country’s Roma population, were quick to respond, rallying to make fresh supplies, with the aim of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

health workers with mask and camera-like instrument

31 March 2020 - Humanitarian workers in developing countries are on the front lines and taking “urgent action” in the fight against the spread of the deadly new coronavirus, COVID-19, according to the United Nations.


A young boy holds a chicken in Taremb, Malekula Island, Vanuatu.

30 March 2020 - United Nations agencies are working together to provide vital support to Pacific Island countries as they rally to combat COVID-19 outbreaks across the region. 

More from UN News>>


Recorded version of the live Q&A #askWHO with Dr Maria Van Kerkhove and Aleks Kuzmanovic on coronavirus -- COVID-19. Originally broadcast live on 17 March 2020, from WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, President of world football governing body FIFA, Gianni Infantino, and WHO Goodwill ambassador for health promotion, Alisson Becker, launched on 23 March 2020 the "Pass the message to kick out coronavirus" campaign.

The formal declaration of a #COVID19 #pandemic does not change the fact that you can - and should - take these simple steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.