In this photograph taken from behind a window, doctors inside a Covid-19 intensive care unit of San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia, northern Italy, Thursday, March 26, 2020. (Photo: AP)
UNITED NATIONS, March 26 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday asked the Group of 20 (G20) largest economies of the world for a "wartime plan" to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are at war with a virus -- and not winning it," Guterres told a virtual summit of G20 leaders. "This war needs a wartime plan to fight it."
It took the world three months to reach 100,000 confirmed cases of infection. The next 100,000 happened in just 12 days. The third took four days. The fourth, just one and a half, he noted.
"This is exponential growth and only the tip of the iceberg."
Solidarity is essential -- among the G20 and with the developing world, including countries in conflict, he said.
He asked for a coordinated G20 response mechanism; efforts to minimize the social and economic impact, including stimulus packages; and a vision for sustainable development to ensure a healthier recovery of the world economy.