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UN chief calls for solidarity to tackle COVID-19 as death toll tops 1 mn

World Tuesday 29/September/2020 16:08 PM
By: Xinhua
UN chief calls for solidarity to tackle COVID-19 as death toll tops 1 mn

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for solidarity to fight COVID-19 as deaths from the disease surpassed 1 million worldwide.

"Our world has reached an agonizing milestone: the loss of 1 million lives from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Guterres in a video message.

"It's a mind-numbing figure. Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life (lost). They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues."

The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease. Risks of infection kept families from bedsides. And the process of mourning and celebrating a life was often made impossible, he said. "How do you say goodbye without holding a hand, or extending a gentle kiss, a warm embrace, a final whispered 'I love you?'"

And still, there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus, the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval to people's lives, Guterres said.

"We can overcome this challenge. But we must learn from the mistakes. Responsible leadership matters. Science matters. Cooperation matters. And misinformation kills," said Guterres.

"As the relentless hunt for a vaccine continues -- a vaccine that must be available and affordable to all -- let's do our part to save lives: keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, washing hands," the UN secretary-general said. "As we remember so many lives lost, let us never forget that our future rests on solidarity -- as people united and as united nations."