United Kingdom Prime minister, Boris Johnson has urged the world to unite against coronavirus, suggesting it had made nations seem “selfish” and apparently warning against the comparison of countries’ death rates.
In a pre-recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the prime minister said “the very notion of the international community looks tattered” nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose,” he said.
“The inevitable outcome will be to prolong this calamity and increase the risk of another.”
He went on to outline a plan for preventing another global pandemic, including a network of zoonotic research labs around the world to identify dangerous pathogens before they leap from animals to humans.
“COVID-19 has caused us to cease other vital work, and I’m afraid it made individual nations seem selfish and divided from each other,” he said.
“Every day people were openly encouraged to study a grisly reverse Olympic league table, and to take morbid and totally mistaken comfort in the greater sufferings of others.
“We cannot go on like that, we cannot make these mistakes again.
“And here in the UK, the birthplace of Edward Jenner, who pioneered the world’s first vaccine, we are determined to do everything in our power to work with our friends across the UN, to heal those divisions and to heal the world.”
Government figures say the UK has suffered almost 42,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest number in Europe and fifth largest toll in the world.
Thirty-four deaths were confirmed in the latest update on Saturday.
UK statistics agency figures, meanwhile, show that there have been more than 57,000 deaths registered in the country where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.