The EU on Sunday called for an immediate and nationwide cease-fire in Syria to deal with the novel coronavirus.

In a statement, EU External Action spokesman Peter Stano stressed the dangers of the virus in war-zones, reiterating the importance of ending hostilities which he said “is important in itself.”

The cease-fire “is also a precondition for halting the spread of the coronavirus and protecting an already struggling population from its potentially devastating consequences,” he added.

The situation is particularly critical in the northwestern province of Idlib because of the high number of displaced people, he said.

The EU joined

Read more: EU calls for cease-fire in Syria due to coronavirus