ISTANBUL

One billion people could potentially be infected from the coronavirus, especially in fragile countries zones, if serious measures are not taken to stem the virus, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warned Tuesday.

The “world could see up to 1 billion infections and 3.2 million deaths due to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic in 34 crisis-affected countries served by the IRC, including warzones like Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen,” the group said in a report.

“These numbers should serve as a wake-up call: the full, devastating and disproportionate weight of this pandemic has yet to be felt in the world’s most fragile and war-torn countries,” said President and CEO David Miliband. “We are still in the critical window of time to mount a robust preventative response to the early stages of COVID-19 in many of these countries and prevent a further perpetuation of this epidemic globally.”

After appearing in China last December, the COVID-19 virus has spread to at least 185 countries and regions.

Data compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections surpassing 3.06 million with more than 212,000 deaths. More than 905,600 have recovered.

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