Ahmed Al-Manzari, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, warned of the repercussions of easing precautionary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. He called on states in the region to remain cautious before lifting the restrictions.
“The battle with the new coronavirus has become more challenging with the emergence of the virus in countries like Syria, Libya and Yemen. Years of conflict in these countries have resulted in weak healthcare systems. Millions of people are at risk of contracting infectious diseases due to crowded living conditions and weakened immunity caused by years of food insecurity,” Al-Manzari said during a press conference.
Al-Manzari stated that “The political division in these countries leads to the limited access of humanitarian services to some areas,” noting the premature lifting of restrictions by some countries on social distancing measures. He pointed out that the lifting of restrictions now may cause the outbreak of a new wave of the virus.