File image of UN secretary general Antonio Guterres. Image courtesy: UN.org

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that terrorists may see a window of opportunity to strike while the attention of most governments is turned towards the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” Guterres said

“The weaknesses and lack of preparedness exposed by this pandemic provide a window onto how a bio-terrorist attack might unfold – and may increase its risks,” he added.

Guterres on Wednesday urged governments to put woman and girls at the centre of their efforts to recover from COVID-19.

“Gender equality and women’s rights are essential to getting through this pandemic together, to recovering faster and to building a better future for everyone,” he added.

The UN chief had also recently said that the coronavirus pandemic is the most challenging crisis that the world is facing after the Second World War and may lead to a severe economic recession.

Hundreds of thousands of people are falling seriously ill from COVID-19, and the disease is spreading exponentially in many places. Societies are in turmoil and economies are in a nose-dive, he had said earlier.

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