With winter right around the corner, coronavirus cases are surging across the world and the Middle East is no exception.
However, the regional director for WHO fears that the worst part of the second wave is yet to hit. The fundamentals of pandemic response, from social-distancing to mask wearing, “are still not being fully practiced in our region,” he said, adding that the result is apparent throughout the region’s crowded hospitals.
Countries need to tighten restrictions and enforce preventive measures, as it is the only way to avoid mass deaths.
Ahmed al-Mandhari, director of WHO’s eastern Mediterranean region expressed his concern from Cairo that most countries are lowering their guard after the tough times, earlier this year.
The coronavirus has affected more than 3.6 million people and have killed more than 76,000 in the region. Right now, 60 percent of the new infections from last week were reported from Iran, Morocco, and Jordan.
“We cannot—and should not—wait until a safe and effective vaccine becomes readily available for all,” he said. “We simply do not know when this will be.”