WHO: Mideast nations need to communicate more about virus

WHO: Mideast nations need to communicate more about virus
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The World Health Organization (WHO) is requesting that nations in the Middle East communicate more about the spread of COVID-19 inside their borders to help in the fight against coronavirus.

Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the WHO regional director for the eastern Mediterranean, told reporters that the response to the pandemic in the Middle East has been “uneven” and more needs to be done, Reuters reported.

More information would allow WHO to better monitor the virus’s spread and more quickly institute public health measures, Al-Mandhari said. 

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“Unfortunately, even today, as the situation is becoming critical, information on cases is insufficiently communicated by countries to WHO,” he added. 

Al-Mandhari also said WHO has attempted to increase surveillance, testing and support for families who are in quarantine or have a relative in isolation. 

“But much more needs to be done. In most countries we still have time to more rapidly accelerate our efforts,” he said, according to Reuters.

Iran is one of the most-affected nations in the world, documenting more than 16,000 virus cases and almost 1,000 deaths, with more than 5,300 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Overall, the Middle East’s numbers are lower than Asia and Europe, which have been badly hit by the pandemic, but WHO is concerned that this is due to a lack of testing in the Middle East, Reuters noted.