UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for unity Thursday among Security Council members in the face of the global coronavirus crisis. 

Speaking at the international body's first meeting on the matter, Guterres said the engagement of the Security Council will be "critical" to mitigate the peace and security implications of the pandemic.

"Indeed, a signal of unity and resolve from the Council would count for a lot at this anxious time," he said via teleconference. "To prevail against the pandemic today, we will need to work together."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft called for "complete transparency" and said the international community should be timely informed.

"The most effective way to contain this pandemic is through accurate, science-based data collection and analysis of the origins, characteristics and spread of the virus," said Craft. "We cannot stress enough how important these methods are."

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 184 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe.

The pandemic has killed more than 95,000 people and infected over 1.6 million, while more than 354,000 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures collated by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.