Coronavirus global health emergency

Secretary-General António Guterres

"To silence the guns, we must raise the voices for peace"

This note provides an update on the responses to my appeal for a Global Ceasefire of 23 March 2020. It documents the broad international support with which this appeal has been greeted, the response by conflict parties in a number of situations of armed conflict and the efforts on the ground by United Nations representatives and other actors to press forward and try to consolidate fragile advances towards laying down weapons. 

women with masks preparing food
Department of Global Communications

Gender equality in the time of COVID-19

Whether at home or as first responders, women are on the frontlines of the coronavirus response around the world. Representing 70 per cent of the global healthcare workforce, women are key to the COVID-19 response. At the same time, many women are taking on additional duties at home, including increased childcare and home-schooling responsibilities. There is also evidence that women and girls are experiencing higher levels of domestic violence in the wake of the pandemic. The United Nations is working to draw attention to the unique needs of women and the continued importance of a balanced gender perspective amid the crisis.

UN Messengers of Peace

UN Messengers of Peace support the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire

More than a million people around the world have joined the UN Secretary-General's appeal for a global ceasefire as we tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations Messengers of Peace, Goodwill Ambassadors and SDG Advocates are also adding their voices in support of the appeal for an immediate global ceasefire.

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.
Department of Global Communications

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.

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.

WFP truck driver climbing into truck

3 April 2020 - The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is so far having little impact on the global food supply chain, but that could change for the worse – and soon – if anxiety-driven panic by major food importers takes hold, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Friday.

police in the streets of New Delhi

2 April 2020 - Pervasive challenges remain for hundreds-of-thousands of migrant workers in India whose lives were upended by the sudden lockdown across the country, in response to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, said the UN human rights chief on Thursday.


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.

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.