ISIS has issued guidance for terrorists on how to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
A list of ‘religious directives’ on tackling infectious diseases appeared in the latest issue of the terror group’s newspaper al-Naba.
The list includes ‘stay away from sick people’, ‘wash your hands before eating’ and ‘avoid travel to affected areas’ – similar to advice being issued by world governments.
But it also includes decrees such as ‘put your faith in God and seek refuge in him’.
Jihadists are also told ‘illnesses do not strike by themselves but by the command and decree of God.’
While ISIS has lost almost all of its so-called caliphate in the Middle East, it is thought to still hold pockets of territory across Iraq and Syria.
Iraq has so far reported 79 cases of coronavirus with eight deaths – a death rate of 10 per cent, suggesting the actual number of infections is much higher.
Syria has not reported any cases of coronavirus, but with the government only in control of parts of the country and the healthcare system in ruins after years of civil war it is possible cases are going undetected.
Iran is by far the worst-affected country in the Middle East with at least 10,000 cases and hundreds of deaths, though observers believe the true toll is far higher.
Recently-revealed satellite images suggest mass graves are being dug in Qom, the city at the centre of the outbreak, to house the bodies of victims.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Oman and Kuwait have all reported cases – largely in people who have returned from travel in Iran.
ISIS also holds territory in West Africa including in Burkina Faso, which has reported a small number of cases, and close to Nigeria which is also affected.
Globally, more than 125,000 have contracted coronavirus while deaths from the disease were approaching 5,000 as of Friday morning.
However, experts in many countries are warning the true number of cases could be ten times higher than reported because they cannot test everyone.
The UK has said that those with mild symptoms should self-isolate and will not be tested until they need hospital treatment.
Meanwhile the US CDC admitted only carrying out 77 tests for the virus in the past week, despite President Trump pledging to test ‘millions’.
The World Health Organisation has officially declared coronavirus a global pandemic – meaning it is spreading out of control in multiple parts of the world simultaneously – and urged government to take immediate action to curb its spread.
Measures being adopted by affected countries include ‘social distancing’ – like closing schools, banning large gatherings and shutting offices – to slow the spread of the disease.
Because the virus is new, humans have no natural immunity to it, meaning it spreads rapidly.
Governments such as Germany are warning that up to 70 per cent of the population will catch it, meaning billions of infections worldwide and the potential for hundreds of millions of deaths.
While the majority of cases are mild, around 20 per cent become serious – with the elderly and those with underlying conditions most at risk.
Because the virus spreads so rapidly, that has led to hospitals being overwhelmed and death rates spiking in affected regions.
Advice to prevent the spread of the virus includes washing hands regularly with soap, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or crooked elbow, and avoiding large crowds and poorly-ventilated spaces.
Source: Daily Mail