COVID-19 Pandemic Reveals How Bioterrorist Attack May Unfold - UN Secretary-General

© AP Photo / K.M. ChaudaryU.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks to The Associated Press in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks to The Associated Press in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. - Sputnik International
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UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The lack of preparedness in the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic revealed how non-state actors could access deadly strains to perpetrate a bioterrorist attack, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council.

"The weaknesses and lack of preparedness exposed by this pandemic provide a window onto how a bioterrorist attack might unfold - and may increase its risks," Guterres said on Thursday. "Non-state groups could gain access to virulent strains that could pose similar devastation to societies around the globe."

Guterres said that some actors might take advantage of the current global crisis and promote further division resulting in the escalation of violence and potential "devastating miscalculations" in regions already ravaged by conflict.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic might further erode the people’s trust in public institutions, if citizens perceive governments to have mishandled the response or lacking transparency regarding the scope of the crisis, Guterres said.

The Secretary-General also called on the UN Security Council to demonstrate unity in mitigating the peace and security challenges posed by the pandemic.

According to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, the number of people infected with the virus has exceeded 1.5 million with over 95,000 deaths.

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