IRC warns that the number of people to be infected with the coronavirus worldwide could reach one billion

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) warned that one billion people could become infected with the coronavirus worldwide. The only way to stop the number of cases from reaching one billion is to provide urgent help to “fragile” countries such as Afghanistan and Syria.

It said these countries needed “urgent funding” to avoid a major outbreak. “There remains a small window of time to mount a robust response,” it warned.

According to the IRC’s report, which is based on models and data from the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as Imperial College London, there could be between 500 million and one billion infections globally and the number of deaths could be more than three million across unstable countries.

“These numbers should serve as a wake-up call,” said the head of the IRC, David Miliband.

“The full, devastating and disproportionate weight of this pandemic has yet to be felt in the world’s most fragile and war-torn countries,” he added. “The key now is for donors to urgently put flexible funding behind frontline efforts.

“Governments must work together to remove any impediment to humanitarian assistance.”

The US-based group, which response to humanitarian crises around the world, explained that several factors could increase the risk of major outbreaks developing citing a few such as household size, population density, healthcare capacity as well as pre-existing conflicts.

One more important point was highlighted; several countries in the developing world have low official infection rates or death tolls however, it is believed that the numbers are much higher.


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