The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres has announced there is “no end in sight” for the COVID-19 pandemic as the world mourns one million deaths. The head of the United Nations released a statement on Tuesday to once again urge global solidarity and highlight individual measures to stop transmission.

Guterres called the devastating milestone a “mind-numbing figure” as he urged the global community to consider each individual death instead of the abstract nature of a large figure. “They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues,” Guterres stated.

Antonio Guterres

The “savageness of this disease” has magnified the pain the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, according to the UN chief. Guterres illustrated the agony of families having to maintain distance as their loved ones perished. “The process of mourning and celebrating a life was often made impossible,” he lamented.

Guterres highlighted the significant worry of the World Health Organization (WHO) that an “infodemic” is presenting a daunting challenge to the global community. Misinformation and waning trust in experts are major threats to an effective response to the virus. Guterres urged global leaders and citizens to learn from the mistakes that have led to the grim milestone.

“Responsible leadership matters. Science matters. Cooperation matters—and misinformation kills,” the UN chief reiterated. Global solidarity and cooperation are key to solve the global health crisis, but individual habits are crucial, according to Guterres. “Keeping physical distance. Wearing a mask. Washing hands,” are ways that citizens can “do our part to save lives.”

In the absence of global solidarity and amid an epidemic of misinformation, there is “no end in sight to the spread of the virus,” Guterres stressed. The UN chief stated that the COVID-19 pandemic would continue to result in“the loss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval to our lives.” Guterres urged the global community to consider this a challenge for humanity to overcome.

The COVID-19 crisis has been a daunting task to contain for WHO and the UN. In the face of global division and petty politics, 33 million people have become infected with the virus. Europe is now facing a second wave and Brazil, India, and the US continue to record tens of thousands of new cases each day.

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