Global impact of COVID-19 pandemic
Over 70 million cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed worldwide by mid-December 2020, and the disease had claimed more than 1.6 million lives. According to a joint statement issued on 13 October 2020 by ILO, FAO, IFAD and WHO “the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating: tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million, could increase to over 800 million by the end the year”.1 In addition, the wide socio-economic impact of this pandemic has threatened the sustainability of all sectors of society all over the globe, impacting mental health, the food supply, medical services, education, and energy, among many other aspects.2
This statement highlights the important, but often overlooked, fact that healthy nutrition supplying a full spectrum of micronutrients is the foundation of our immune system function and provides effective protection against infections, including COVID-19.