New Delhi: Three days after the World Health Organization confirmed coronavirus as a pandemic, UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Education Fund) on Saturday released a statement for the South-East Asian countries that the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic is an acknowledgment of the disease's geographical spread.
In an official notification sent to the embassies of the South-East Asian countries, it said, “Characterising COVID-19 as a pandemic is not an indication that the virus has become deadlier. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of the disease’s geographical spread.”
An official spokesperson of UNICEF in a statement said, “It has been preparing and responding to the epidemic of COVID-19 around the world, knowing that the virus could spread to children and families in any country or community. We will continue working with governments and our partners to stop transmission of the virus and to keep children and their families safe.”
“At the same time, we remain very concerned about the secondary impacts of the outbreak and related control measures on children including school closures, the burden on local health systems for the delivery of primary care, protection risks and economic pressures felt by some families,” he added.
He further said, “Fear of the virus is also contributing to discrimination against people from vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants. It is unacceptable. We remain on the ground working in affected communities to mitigate secondary impacts on children.”