COVID-19 pandemic has provided a window into how a bio-terrorist attack might unfold across the world: UN chief Antonio Guterres

    10-Apr-2020   
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United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said that COVID-19 pandemic has provided a window into how a bio-terrorist attack might unfold across the world, issuing a strong warning that non-state groups could gain access to virulent strains that could pose similar devastation to societies around the globe. The Secretary-General was addressing the first UN Security Council meeting on Coronavirus crisis in a closed video-conference session under the Presidency of the Dominican Republic.
 
 
Guterres described the battle against COVID-19 as the fight of a generation -- and the raison d'être of the United Nations itself. While the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, its implications are much more far-reaching. The pandemic also poses a significant threat to the maintenance of international peace and security -- potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease, he said in his briefing to the UNSC.
 
According to estimates from Johns Hopkins University Corona virus Resource Centre, there are more than 1.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world and over 95,000 people have died so far of the disease.
 
The UN Chief stressed that the crisis has hindered international, regional and national conflict resolution efforts, exactly when they are needed most. Another significant risk posed by the pandemic is that it is triggering or exacerbating various human rights challenges and refugees and internally displaced persons are particularly vulnerable. (With inputs from AIR)