Public/Global Health

UN official warns of global coronavirus ‘boomerang’

A top United Nations official warned Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic could “boomerang” and return to wealthier nations such as the U.S. and its European allies unless countries work together to contain the virus’s spread.

USA Today reported that the U.N.’s under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, Mark Lowcock, told the newspaper that he will ask wealthier contributors to the international organization such as the U.S. to donate to a $6.7 billion effort to fight the spread of coronavirus in developing countries, particularly in Latin America.

Lowcock said the effort would be necessary to prevent a second wave of the virus from reaching the shores of nations that have begun to see rates of new infections flatten, warning that loosening international travel restrictions would only mean a greater risk of a second wave occurring.

“You have a chance of avoiding what’s currently a one-year problem becoming a ten-year problem with all the consequences we can forecast: instability, migration, space being created for terrorists and so on,” Lowcock told USA Today.

“The countries where we work have the potential to act as kind of reservoirs for the virus if there isn’t significant effort to contain it in those places,” he added. “No one’s safe until everybody’s safe.”

The U.S. and some European countries are beginning to reopen nonessential businesses and end lockdown procedures as officials see rates of the coronavirus’s spread begin to drop off in some areas. States around the U.S. have released plans for some sectors of their economies to reopen, while most have not provided timelines for when larger gatherings of people, such as concerts or sporting events, will be allowed to take place.

Reopenings of many U.S. businesses come as the country experienced its worst one-day death toll from the pandemic just days ago.

Tags Coronavirus international aid

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