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The World Might Face Multiple Famines Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic – WHO

World Health Organization

World Health Organization

The world is at risk of widespread famines of biblical proportions amid the coronavirus pandemic, WHO has said.

David Beasley, head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), revealed recently that urgent action is required to avoid a worldwide catastrophe.

According to him, the world might battle several famines of biblical proportions within a short few months if the virus keeps getting worse and we fail to put a stop to it.

He added that we do not have time on our side and governments all across the globe must begin to act fast to tackle the pandemic.

His words, “We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months,”

“The truth is we do not have time on our side.”

“I do believe that with our expertise and our partnerships, we can bring together the teams and the programmes necessary to make certain the COVID-19 pandemic does not become a human and food crisis catastrophe.”

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Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.

Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 34 kilobases, the largest among known RNA viruses. The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.

Human coronaviruses were first discovered in the late 1960s. The earliest ones discovered were an infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two in human patients with the common cold (later named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43). Other members of this family have since been identified, including SARS-CoV in 2003, HCoV NL63 in 2004, HKU1 in 2005, MERS-CoV in 2012, and SARS-CoV-2 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV) in 2019. Most of these have involved serious respiratory tract infections.

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