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WHO warns Middle East must act fast to contain coronavirus

Middle Eastern governments must act fast to limit the spread of the coronavirus as cases within the region have risen to just about 60,000 - almost double the tally of per week earlier, the planet Health Organization (WHO) warned.

"New cases are reported in a number of the foremost vulnerable countries with fragile health systems," Ahmed al-Mandhari, WHO's director for the Eastern Mediterranean region, which incorporates Pakistan and Afghanistan further as MENA countries, said on Thursday.

"Even in countries with stronger health systems, we've seen a worrying spike within the numbers of cases and deaths reported," al-Mandhari said in a very statement.


Outside of Iran, which has reported quite 50,000 cases, coronavirus numbers are relatively low within the Middle East and geographic region compared to Europe, the u. s. and Asia.

But health officials fear cases of the highly contagious disease, COVID-19, are under-reported. they are saying many countries with weak governments and health systems eroded by conflict will struggle to cope.

"I cannot stress enough the urgency of matters," said al-Mandhari. "The increasing numbers of cases show that transmission is rapidly occurring at local and community levels.

"We still have a window of opportunity, but this window is slowly closing day by day."

The total number of cases within the region has risen to 58,168 from 32,442 on March 26, the WHO said, on every day when global COVID-19 cases crossed the a million mark.

To date, 1,016,534 people are infected globally, with 53,179 deaths.

One of the countries worst tormented by conflict is Yemen, where the planet Bank said on Thursday it might provide $26.9m in emergency funding to assist the WHO and native authorities improve capacity for detecting, containing and treating the coronavirus.

Yemen has not confirmed any coronavirus cases but is seen as especially vulnerable because a five-year warfare has brought its health system to the brink of collapse and has created one in all the worst man-made humanitarian disasters within the world.

The country has already been combating overlapping infectious diseases including cholera, diphtheria and dandy fever, and enormous numbers of individuals are displaced within the ongoing conflict.

About 24 million of its population of 29 million need humanitarian assistance. There aren't any doctors in 18 percent of the country's districts, most healthcare workers haven't been acquired a minimum of two years, and COVID-19 testing kits are available for just 600 people, per the planet Bank.

"The epidemic does pose unique public health risks in Yemen … given the already weak health system and also the high vulnerability among the population," said Marina Wes, the bank's country director.

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