Health

New COVID-19 variants under the microscope as travel bans mount over UK mutation

The UN health agency chief said on Monday that scientists have been working to understand new COVID-19 variants that have been reported in South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

Vaccines for all, an ‘acid test’ in COVID-19 battle

Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will represent an “acid test” for the international community, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) told journalists on Wednesday, highlighting the importance of global cooperation and solidarity in beating back the disease. 

World must invest in strong health systems that protect everyone — now and into the future

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how important it is for all countries to have strong health systems that provide the entire population with quality services when and where they need them, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stressed.

First Person: COVID education is child’s play for Thai UN volunteer

An innovative initiative to provide child-friendly information about COVID-19 has been launched by a UN volunteer (UNV) in Thailand who recognized that children needed to know more about the dangers of the virus but also have fun learning at home during the lockdown. On International Volunteer Day marked annually on 5 December, UNICEF’s Rasa Pattikasemkul talks about motivation, family loss and keeping children safe.

Contribution of life in soil ‘remains largely underestimated’, says UN agriculture agency 

Even though soil organisms play a crucial role in boosting food production, enhancing nutritious diets, preserving human health, and combating climate change, the real contribution of these tiny life forms remains largely underestimated, the UN agriculture agency (FAO) said on Friday. 

COVID-19: Right decisions now will secure a life of dignity for all

Critical decisions made now to address the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a life of dignity for all people, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said on Friday, addressing the second and final day of the General Assembly’s special session devoted to the crisis. 

COVID-19 recovery, focus of UN General Assembly special session

Nations united on Thursday for a special session of the UN General Assembly to survey the wreckage of the COVID-19 pandemic, reflect on the best response, and forge a path to better days ahead. 

New COVID-19 infections fall globally for first time since September; WHO chief urges ‘extreme caution’

Last week saw the first global decline in newly reported cases of COVID-19 since September, the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, advising that the news, while welcome, must be interpreted with “extreme caution”. 

COVID cases surge amid growing threat from antimicrobial resistance – WHO chief 

More cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past four weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic, the UN health agency chief told journalists on Friday as he launched a new report on the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance.

Ensure safe and hygienic sanitation for all, UN urges, marking World Toilet Day

The UN is marking World Toilet Day on Thursday, in a bid to reinforce the need for equal access to sanitation for all. More than a quarter of the global population lack basic facilities, and more than three billion people live in homes without basic hand washing facilities, soap and water.