WHO: We expect explosion of coronavirus in Syria and Yemen

GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed a pessimistic forecast of the new coronavirus outbreak in Syria and Yemen, saying it expects a sharp rise in the number of people infected there.

Abdul Naseer Abu Bakr, head of the WHO infectious diseases prevention team, told CNN he was concerned about the lack of reported cases of new coronavirus in Syria and Yemen, adding that there are likely unreported cases.

“We expect an explosion in cases,” said Abu Bakr.

“Most of these countries have cases except Syria and Yemen, which we, as the World Health Organization, are somewhat concerned, because countries that may not have cases simply have weak surveillance system,” continued Abu Bakr.

In the case of Syria, Abu Bakr said that the WHO is sure that the virus is spreading but that the government has not reported a single case. The WHO believes that there are cases but “there is no evidence to show it”.

Syria, Yemen, and Libya are the only three Arab countries that have not reported cases of the novel coronavirus. All three are in the midst of ongoing internal conflicts.

On 11 March, the WHO classified the coronavirus as a global pandemic.

Recently, the WHO has announced that the number of infections with new coronavirus in the world has exceeded 209,000 and more than 8,700 people have died.

In Italy, the decision was made to put 10,000 medical graduates to work  once they finish their studies this year without even the final tests required to practice in an attempt to fill the gaps in the overburdened healthcare system, The Hill reported.

In related news, WhatsApp announced the launch of a new service for users around the world, in support of the global campaign against the coronavirus pandemic.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world and is used by about 1.5 billion users.