11 March 2020

We Cannot Let Fear Go Viral in Fight against COVID-19, says Secretary-General, Stressing importance of Moving Forward ‘With Resolve and Without Stigma’

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on COVID-19, in New York today:

All of us face a common threat, the coronavirus — COVID-19.  Today’s declaration of a pandemic is a call to action for everyone, everywhere.  It’s also a call for responsibility and solidarity, as nations united and as people united.

As we fight the virus, we cannot let fear go viral.  Together, we can still change the course of this pandemic — but that means addressing inaction.  The best science tells us, if countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response, we can go a long way to mitigating transmission.  I call on every Government to step up and scale up their efforts — now.

And since this is a crisis that affects everyone, we must all play our part.  As we mourn all those who have lost their lives and the many families who are suffering, we must show solidarity with the most vulnerable — the elderly, the sick, those without reliable health care, and those on the edge of poverty.

Let’s move forward with resolve and without stigma.  You can count on the United Nations to do our part.  Let’s overcome this common threat together.

For information media. Not an official record.