The World Health Organization on Thursday said malaria deaths risked doubling if efforts are not urgently scaled up.

In a report by The Punch, the development which came as a warning by the renowned organisation, centered on the fact that, the pandemic could severely disrupt access to anti-malaria nets and drugs in sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN health agency called on countries in sub-Saharan Africa,  to rapidly distribute malaria prevention and treatment tools now, before they become too overwhelmed with novel coronavirus cases, especially in areas where nearly 95 percent of all the world’s malaria cases and deaths occur.

WHO, while making public the warning, cited new modelling analysis. The organisation disclosed that, “Severe disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018,”

In the analysis, it was disclosed that, across 41 countries WHO considers nine scenarios for potential disruptions in access to core malaria control tools during the pandemic, and the resulting possible increases in cases and deaths.

WHO said, under the worst-case scenario, “the estimated tally of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 would reach 769,000,”  in which all campaigns to distribute insecticide-treated nets are suspended and there is a 75-percent reduction in access to effective antimalarial medicines.