This came in a thirty-page report, issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, “Antonio Guterres”, on the subject.
Guterres said on the occasion of the report’s release: “Urban areas have become a focus of the Corona pandemic, as their share of reported infections around the world reached 90%.”
“This increases the severity of the crises that cities are already experiencing, and increases the pressure on their health systems and water and sanitation services, as well as additional challenges.”
He emphasized that this applies in particular to the poor areas in those cities, where the pandemic revealed inequality rooted in them.
The report indicates that the size of cities and population density, and linking them internationally with other places around the world, in terms of movement, all of which makes them more vulnerable to the spread of the virus.
But he stresses at the same time that there is no evidence, so far, that the population density itself is linked to the transmission of the virus in higher proportions.
The report shows that the vulnerability of a city to the risk of spreading the virus is linked to options related to how those cities are organized and the movement of people in and around them.
In this context, the report shows that 24 percent of the urban population around the world live in slums. And less than 50% of the urban population finds public places no more than four hundred meters away from their places of residence.
The report points to another fact that the negative economic impacts of the spread of the virus, related to quarantine, have crossed the borders of these cities, where urban economies account for 80 percent of global GDP.
The report makes a number of recommendations, the most prominent of which is the necessity for anti-virus efforts to cover issues of inequality and lack of development in the long run, which made marginalized groups in society more vulnerable to the risks of spreading the virus.
Although air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have declined sharply, these environmental gains may be temporary if cities are reopened without deliberate policies that prevent a return to previous levels of air pollution.
The report links poor air quality with the high rates of new Corona deaths.