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COVID-19 gives ‘window’ into how bio-terrorist attack may unfold: UN chief


PTI, Apr 11, 2020, 1:34 PM IST

New York: The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a “window” into how a bio-terrorist attack might unfold across the world, UN chief Antonio Guterres said, issuing a strong warning that non-state groups could gain access to “virulent strains” that could pose similar devastation to societies around the globe.

The Secretary-General listed pressing risks to the world due to the pandemic as he addressed the powerful UN Security Council, which for the first time discussed the coronavirus crisis in a closed video-conference session on Thursday under the Presidency of the Dominican Republic.

Guterres described the battle against COVID-19 as the “fight of a generation – and the raison d’être of the United Nations itself.”

“While the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis, its implications are much more far-reaching. The pandemic also poses a significant threat to the maintenance of international peace and security — potentially leading to an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease,” Guterres said in his briefing to the UNSC.

“The weaknesses and lack of preparedness exposed by this pandemic provide a window onto how a bio-terrorist attack might unfold – and may increase its risks. Non-state groups could gain access to virulent strains that could pose similar devastation to societies around the globe,” he said.

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