Coronavirus global health emergency

A man on a mopping vehicle in the General Assembly

An Inside Look: Next steps towards ‘new normal’ in UN Headquarters

To comply with local health advisories, the United Nations Headquarters complex has remained largely closed since mid-March, with only a few hundred personnel coming to work to perform on-site functions.  However, with New York City gradually moving to ease those restrictions, the UN is also gearing up for its return to normalcy in three phases.

Secretary-General António Guterres speaks online with a former Syrian refugee, cardiologist Dr. Heval Kelli.
António Guterres

"The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to reimagine human mobility"

COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and livelihoods around the globe — hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. This is particularly true for millions of people on the move — such as refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes from violence or disaster, or migrants in precarious situations.

UNIC Panama City

Quarantine halts migrants in Panama

Migrants from Haiti, Congo, Bangladesh, and Yemen, who were traveling to find a better life in the United States and Canada, now find themselves quarantined for more than 50 days in Panama. They are sheltering at an official government migration support station in the small town of La Peñita near Panama’s border with Colombia. Their movement has been stopped by border closings and fears that they are carriers of COVID-19. They come from Haiti, the Congo, Bangladesh, and Yemen.

UNIC Mexico City

Trans women in Mexico help neighbors during pandemic

Trans women in Mexico City, an often persecuted group, show kindness and solidarity with their neighbors by delivering meals to those in need during COVID-19.

WHO poster

WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

The World Health Organization (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. 

WHO’s response in countries

Find out how the WHO is working across its 149 country offices to assist communities all over the world.

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.


Verified is a United Nations initiative to encourage us all to check the advice we share.

COVID-19 Response logo

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.

UN staff form a circle with the SDG colours

Information for UN personnel

The United Nations is closely monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. 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, as well as advice on maintaining wellness. It is updated with the latest available information.



Get information on UN meetings that are being held virtually due to COVID-19.

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Communication Materials

Social media posters, advice for patients and health workers and key scenarios for printing

Protesters in Brooklyn, New York

5 June 2020 - Demonstrators who want to go into the street to make their voices heard, should take every precaution against catching or passing on the coronavirus, as the global pandemic is far from over, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.


women washing their hands

1 June 2020 - Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in East Africa, the UN Human Rights regional office, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has been contributing to the COVID-19 response of UN country teams in the region, by ensuring that human rights protection for vulnerable people is included in their plans. The head of the office, Nwanneakolam Vwede-Obahor, shared some of the challenges she and her colleagues are facing.


Factory workers in Accra producing shirts

1 June 2020 - As businesses struggle to cope with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, they need to remain aware of their responsibilities as partners in efforts to build a sustainable future, says the outgoing head of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.


With its empty streets and shuttered businesses, the ‘city that never sleeps’ has been on pause since a COVID-19 lockdown came into effect in mid-March. Yet every night at 7 pm, New York City springs back to life as people take to their balconies, windows and rooftops clapping, cheering, and singing. The same scene plays out in London every Thursday, as it does across Spain, Italy, Republic of Korea, Colombia, India, Peru and many other places across the world.


The World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and Illumination have partnered to release a public service announcement featuring the famous Minions characters and Gru, voiced by actor Steve Carrell, to show how people can stay safe from COVID-19. The video has been produced in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. More information:


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo’s Pata Pata, is a fresh take on Miriam Makeba’s 1967 hit song. Once called the “world’s most defiantly joyful song”, Pata Pata has been re-recorded by Kidjo to spread information about COVID-19, with a focus on hundreds of millions of people in remote communities around the world. UNICEF put out a call to the global public, asking people to submit videos of themselves dancing to the song in their homes and gardens, while observing various COVID-19 lockdown, containment and curfew rules. The response was overwhelming.