While COVID19 pandemic has taken the world by a storm, an aid group has warned that one billion people could get infected with the killer virus.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said financial and humanitarian aid is the need of the hour to slow down the global spread of the virus, especially in some of the vulnerable countries.
The IRC said war-ravaged countries like Afghanistan and Syria are in urgent need of fund to check the outbreak of COVID19.
Till now, more than three million people across the globe tested positive for COVID19, and more than 200,000 people have died.
Quoting the WHO and the Imperial College, London, the IRC report estimated there could be 500 million to one billion COVID19 infections globally.
There could be more than three million deaths across the conflict-riddled and unstable countries, including in the West Asia.
David Miliband, who is the head of IRC, said that projected numbers should trigger a wake-up call for the world leaders.
The devastating effects of the pandemic are yet to be felt in the most fragile and war-torn countries, Miliband said.
He said governments across the globe should now work in tandem to remove all difficulties to humanitarian assistance in slowing down the COVID19 pandemic.
The US-based group, which responds to humanitarian crises around the world, said though official infection rates and death tolls in the third-world countries have been low, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher.
Miliband said factors like family size, population density, healthcare capacity and pre-existing conflicts could all increase the risk of COVID19 pandemic.
Officials of other humanitarian-aid groups are also of the opinion that a lot of people are already dying from COVID19 complications, in countries like Yemen, even before reaching hospitals.
In most of the war-ravaged and poor countries, capacity of testing COVID19 has also been extremely low, the aid-workers said.
They said countries like Yemen has been specially mentioned in the IRC report to be “vulnerable to COVID19” primarily because the population has been weakened by recent outbreaks of cholera and measles.