Virtual Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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07-Apr-2020 00:21:23
Briefing by Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Today is World Health Day. The Secretary-General dedicated his message this year to all the healthcare workers -- nurses, midwives, technicians, paramedics, pharmacists, doctors, drivers, cleaners, administrators and many others -- who work, day and night to keep us safe.

A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners says that the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgent need to strengthen the global health workforce, with nurses being on the frontline in the battle against the virus.

On April 18th, WHO and Global Citizen are organizing a special event to celebrate and support healthcare workers. The event, titled “One World: Together At Home’ will be co-hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert and will feature – in addition to stars and musical acts [including Lady Gaga] - real experiences from doctors, nurses and families around the world.

In order to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19, the Secretary-General has suspended the rotation and deployments of uniformed personnel – individual officers and formed, police and military units – until June 30th.

During a Security Council meeting on Mali, held in an open videoconference, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, said 46 COVID-19 cases have now been recorded in Mali, including one in peacekeeping personnel.

In Uzbekistan, the UN team there is helping the Government to contain the spread of the virus, as well as to address the socio-economic impacts.

The UN team, led by the WHO is also working closely with the Government by supporting the National Preparedness and Response Operational Plan to contain the virus and procure medical equipment, personal protection equipment and diagnostic tests.

Turning to Nigeria. Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that, yesterday, in Nigeria, the UN, the European Union and the Government launched a COVID-19 Basket Fund to mobilise additional funds to support efforts to tackle the pandemic.

The UN Refugee Agency is ramping up its efforts to increase capacity to prevent, treat and limit the spread of COVID-19 among refugee communities across the Eastern part, the Horn and Great Lakes region of Africa. As you know, these regions host some of the largest refugee populations in the world.

The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions – the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union – said they remain fully engaged to help address the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Turning to Cameroon, the Secretary-General condemns the double suicide bombing by suspected Boko Haram fighters that took place in Amichidé, in the Far North region of Cameroon on the 5th of April.

In Libya, Yacoub El Hillo, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, said he was appalled to have learned that heavy shelling hit Tripoli’s Al Khadra General Hospital today, injuring at least one healthcare worker and damaging the fully-functioning medical facility.

Due to COVID-19, the traditional commemoration meeting of the General Assembly to mark the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda has been postponed.

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Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General
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