The current coronavirus outbreak is the biggest challenge for the world since World War Two, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned.

He said it could bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past.”

A. Guterres was speaking at the launch of a UN report on the potential socio-economic impact of the outbreak.

The number of confirmed cases around the world is now nearing 860,000, with more than 42,000 deaths.

“COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations.”

The UN chief called for “an immediate co-ordinated health response to suppress transmission and end the pandemic.”

Guterres urged the industrialized nations to help those less developed, or potentially “face the nightmare of the disease spreading like wildfire.”

The UN report estimates that up to 25 million jobs could be lost around the world as a result of the outbreak.