NEW YORK, 11 March 2020 – “Characterizing COVID-19 as a pandemic is not an indication that the virus has become deadlier. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the disease’s geographical spread.
“UNICEF has been preparing and responding to the epidemic of COVID-19 around the world, knowing that the virus could spread to children 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 by 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.
“Fear of the virus is also contributing to discrimination against people from vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants – this is unacceptable.
“We remain on the ground working in affected communities to mitigate secondary impacts for children and push back against stigmatization.”