As countries worldwide tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said people should come together to give a “coordinated, global response” to challenges posed by the crisis.c

“This crisis and its consequences serve as a warning that only by coming together in a coordinated, global response, will we meet the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges we face. I pray we all heed ”The Call to Unite”,” he said in a statement released by his office.

“In this time of crisis, we face threats to our health and sadness for the family and friends we have lost. Economic disruption is posing a major challenge to governments and undermining the ability of so many people to make a living,” he said.

The 14th Dalai Lama said people must focus on what unites them as members of one human family and reach out to each other with compassion.

“As human beings, we are all the same. We experience the same fears, the same hopes, the same uncertainties, yet we are also united by a desire for happiness. Our human capacity to reason and to see things realistically and clearly give us the ability to transform hardship into opportunity,” he said.

According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker there were 3,428,422 confirmed cases worldwide on Sunday, with 243,831 people losing their lives to the disease. The US continues to be the most affected country, with more than 1.3 million cases and 66,385 deaths.