Coronavirus global health emergency

Secretary-General looking up next to the UN flag.

2 million COVID-19 deaths: “Our world can only get ahead of this virus one way - together”

Our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone: the COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed two million lives. In his video message, Secretary-General António Guterres encourages global solidarity to save lives, protect people and help defeat this vicious virus.

Food is delivered to the outskirts of Laranjal do Jari, Amapá, Brazil.
UNIC Rio

Brazilian college student organizes care package deliveries in hometown during COVID-19

Estephany Oliveira, 22, a college student whose studies were interrupted by COVID-19, considered those who might be more at risk during the pandemic. She founded Solidarity Laranjal with her friends to deliver food to impoverished and isolated families in Northern Brazil.

Amédéo Miceli, President of the Red Cross Centre in La Louvière, Belgium, returns to the Red Cross Centre after collecting soup and delivering it to a distribution point. Photo courtesy MCR La Louvière
UNRIC Brussels

COVID-19 drives global surge in volunteering

At the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world. Responding to calls for help from their local communities, they are everyday heroes.

Secretary-General António Guterres at a podium with COVID-19 poster
António Guterres

Stronger health systems and Universal Health Coverage must be a priority

Nearly a year into the pandemic, we face a human tragedy, and a public health, humanitarian and development emergency. For the first time since 1945, the entire world is confronted by a common threat, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or faith. But while COVID-19 does not discriminate, our efforts to prevent and contain it do. For that reason, the pandemic has hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies hardest.

 

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.

FAQs

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

Verified

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

What’s New?

Recent additions to the website

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.

 

Meetings

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

man with face mask going up stairs

19 January 2021 - The global system for pandemic alert and response is “not fit for purpose”, highlighting the need for a new framework in the wake of COVID-19, experts appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an interim report presented on Tuesday. 

 

Woman wearing mask in a white uniform sitting down gets a vaccine on the arm from a health worker also wearing a mask.

18 January 2021 - A “me-first approach” to COVID-19 vaccines on the part of some countries and manufacturers is putting equitable access to these lifesaving treatments at risk, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned. 

air hostesses working in the aisle

15 January 2021 - A new report from the UN’s air transportation agency confirms there was a “dramatic” fall in international air travel due to COVID-19, of around 60 per cent over the course of last year, to levels last seen in 2003.

 

Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children? Do the new variants impact children differently? What can parents do to keep children safe from COVID-19. WHO's Dr Maria Van Kerkhove explains in Science in 5.

Check out this animation and see how location, proximity and time can help you make safer choices when you're in an area of widespread COVID-19 transmission. Visit WHO for more information.

UN Human Rights Day puts the global spotlight on the importance of human rights in the post-COVID recovery. IMO is highlighting the plight of the hundreds of thousands of seafarers who are still stranded at sea, and has issued a strong call for their fundamental rights to be respected.