The UN humanitarian chief on Tuesday appealed for an additional $211 million to help Syria deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council that the money is needed to maintain the supply of healthcare items, to improve water and sanitation in camps, and to make schools safe for the return of teachers and students.

He said the confirmed coronavirus cases were overwhelmingly the result of community transmission, adding that 92% of officially confirmed infections cannot be traced to a known case.

Lowcock emphasized that the scale of the outbreak would likely be far greater in Syria than the current level of confirmed cases, which is about 13,500.

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