Coronavirus cases may touch the mark of 1 billion: A report says

by Shatakshi Gupta

Ever since the COVID-19 hit the world, it is continuously baffling scientists, economists and social workers about the impact of the virus on the world. These communities are coming up with their various assessment reports on potential of damage by this virus. One such report was recently released by a renowned US based NGO named International Rescue Committee (IRC) , which responds to humanitarian crises around the world. According to the study conducted by IRC, which is based on data collected by WHO and Imperial College of London, tells that the number of infected persons could reach up to the mark of 1 billion if resource deficient countries are not given aid by developed countries.

Report says  ‘fragile countries’ such as Afghanistan and Syria are in need of ‘urgent funding’ to prevent major outbreak. Currently, the number of infected persons across the world crossed 30 lakhs and death toll touched the mark of 2 lakh. These numbers might grow multi-fold if immediate measures are not taken in poor and war torn nations.

David Miliband, who is the head of this organization said “ These numbers should serve as a wake-up call”. He further added “The full, devastating and disproportionate weight of this pandemic has yet to be felt in the world’s most fragile and war-torn countries. The key now is for donors to urgently put flexible funding behind front line efforts”. Report also raised concern over severe under reporting of COVID-19 cases in these countries. According to IRC the actual number in these countries is much more, but the testing capacity is  very low.

Report quoted an example of Yemen, which is a war torn country and was recently hit by the outbreaks of Cholera and Measles, is particularly very vulnerable to a large COVID-19 outbreak. According to Caroline Seguin, who is managing Doctors Without Borders(MSF) in Yemen , told BBC in an interview that they are convinced that there is local transmission ongoing but the capacity of testing is so poor. She also told that health system of the country is falling and the responsible ministry is not able to cope up with the situation.

The major issue in such countries is health infrastructure, for context Italy, which is one the worst affected had 80 ventilators per 10 lakh people, ran out of ventilators. This figure is more worrisome for countries like Afghanistan and Nigeria where number of ventilators per million people is 10 and 0.8 respectively.

 This is the time when governments of other countries must collaborate together to help these nations to avoid further escalation of this Pandemic.

Also Read: COVID-19|India cases rise to 27,977; death toll hits 884