United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says the loss of 1 million people to the coronavirus is an “agonizing milestone" that has been made worse by the “savageness of this disease."
In this Sept. 10, 2020, file photo, a woman wearing white protective gear, foreground, mourns after taking a glimpse of her husband's body, a victim of COVID 19, at a cremation site in Gauhati, India. (Photo: AP)
In a statement released after the global death toll from the pandemic crossed 1 million, Guterres called it a “mind-numbing figure."
"They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues," he said. "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."
Guterres warned "there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus, the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval to our lives."
Still he said he said the pandemic could be overcome with responsible leadership, cooperation and science, as well as precautions such as social distancing and wearing face masks. He said any vaccine must be "available and affordable to all."