Ahmed al-Mandhari listed Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates as some of the countries experiencing a rising numbers of infections, following the decision to loosen the coronavirus restrictions after months of a full lockdown, and limiting testing to those only showing symptoms of the virus.
The comments were made in a virtual press briefing where al-Mandhari also stressed people must maintain wearing of masks and social distancing measures as the first defence against infection.
- [SPEAKING NON-ENGLISH]
INTERPRETER: The current situation in the eastern Mediterranean region is very troubling. The number of cases is rising every day. The biggest increase in cases in some countries, such as Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates, is very worrying and highlights the need for taking additional precautionary measures.
This sudden increase in the number of cases is expected because of some countries loosening restrictions after months of a complete lockdown and with increased population mobility. Governments cannot continue to apply the same measures as at the start of the pandemic. It is no longer enough that testing be limited only to people who show up at hospitals or clinics and who have symptoms of the virus. The more people being tested, the more cases that will be discovered and quarantined accordingly and will curb the spread of the pandemic.