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UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is a respiratory pathogen. WHO first learned of this new virus from cases in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China on 31 December 2019.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO) – Q&A on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

COVID19 Response logo

UN Entities


Further Information

  • Ask DAG: How is the United Nations responding to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) / COVID-19 outbreak? http://ask.un.org/faq/281723
  • UN documents on the topic “COVID-19” : https://digitallibrary.un.org/search?ln=en&as=0&p=subjectheading:[COVID-19]
  • Coronavirus global health emergency: Coverage from UN News
    This page brings together information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations regarding the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. Please visit this page for daily updates. WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.
  • United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
    “International Law and Infectious Disease Control”, lecture by Professor Gian Luca Burci, Former Legal Counsel of the WHO: https://legal.un.org/avl/ls/Burci_HS.html


18 October 2020
not an official document – for information only

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