COVID-19 and other topics – Daily Briefing (12 March 2020)

Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

– COVID-19
– Syria
– Yemen
– Iraq
– Central African Republic
– Locusts
– Mozambique
– Senior Designation in Libya
– Egypt Contributions

COVID-19
In response to questions, the Secretary-General said that, very important measures are being taken here at UN Headquarters and the situation is being assessed on a daily if not hourly basis.
He also expressed his total commitment to cooperate with the authorities of the host country, as well as the state and city authorities to be a part of the efforts here in New York to keep everyone safe.
Yesterday, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) issued new guidance to help protect children and schools from the transmission of COVID-19.
The guidance provides critical considerations and practical checklists to keep schools safe, as well as advice for national and local authorities on how to adapt and implement emergency plans for schools.

SYRIA
The World Health Organization condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on health care that have been a hallmark of the complex humanitarian situation in Syria, which this month enters its tenth year.
A total of 494 attacks on health care workers and installations were confirmed between 2016 and 2019, of which more than two thirds, or 337 attacks, were recorded in Syria’s northwest. The data show that attacks on health in Syria peaked in 2016 and were the lowest in 2019, likely due to the reduced size of the area where active fighting has been taking place.
The total death toll on health care in Syria between 2016 and 2019 is 470.
The UN continues to be deeply concerned for the safety and protection of millions of civilians in the northwest Syria following more than three months of violence in the area.
The UN continues to scale up its response, including protection, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene. The UN sent 927 trucks in February and 1,227 in January, carrying life-saving assistance for millions of people in northwest.
The UN urges all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, in line with obligations under international humanitarian law, and to ensure safe and sustained humanitarian access to people affected by the crisis.

SECURITY COUNCIL
The Security Council is holding an open meeting today on countering terrorism and extremism in Africa.
Briefing Council members was Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo. She said that, today, Africa is moving forward with its own agenda of progress, peace and prosperity. 
But, she said, the continent continues to see the threat of terrorism and violent extremism, which continues to grow in some areas, despite our efforts to prevent and counter it at the national, regional and international levels.
She added that, as the Secretary-General stated, we cannot address terrorism without addressing underlying factors. 
She also said that we must address poverty, weak governance, intercommunal tensions, gender inequality, youth unemployment, illicit activities such as the trafficking in weapons and people, and the use of new technologies and social media to recruit, inflame and incite.

Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=12%20March%202020

In This Story: Covid-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

Latest News about Covid-19

Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

  • Parisians back to museums as France eases coronavirus lockdown measures
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  • Zimbabwe tobacco: Biggest foreign currency earner hit by COVID-19
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