World will return to normalcy only if COVID-19 vaccine is found – UN chief

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres attends a press conference following the UNHCRs annual Executive Committee meeting on October 3, 2014 at the United Nations Office at Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said only the discovery of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus can restore the world to normalcy.

The UN chief who held a live meeting with the 50 or so African countries that are members of the United Nation on Wednesday expressed hope that a vaccine be found before the end of the year.

He said, “A safe and effective vaccine may be the only tool that can return the world to a sense of ‘normalcy,’ saving millions of lives and countless trillions of dollars.”

He called for its accelerated development and accessibility to all, adding it must have a “universal global benefit” and “allow us to control the pandemic.”

“We need an ambitious effort to ensure that international stakeholders operate through a harmonized, integrated and leveraged approach to maximize the speed and scale needed for the universal deployment of such a vaccine by the end of 2020,” he insisted.

The UN chief praised the efforts of several African governments to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.

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