On Thursday, sources informed that US intelligence agencies are monitoring the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus and gauging the ability of governments to respond. The sources revealed the agencies were concerned about how India would cope with a mass outbreak.
One source revealed that the country’s existing countermeasures and the potential for the novel virus to spread given India’s dense population was a focus of serious concern. India, so far, had reported three confirmed cases of the virus-- all three in Kerala. However, the patients are said to have recovered.
US intelligence agencies have also turned their focus to Iran, where the number of coronavirus cases is increasing rapidly. The country’s deputy health minister has also fallen ill during a growing outbreak. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was “deeply concerned” Tehran may have hushed up details about the spread.
A source said that Iran's response to contain the virus is ineffective because the government has minimal capabilities to combat the outbreak.
There is a concern over the ability of governments in some developing countries to respond to an outbreak.
“The Committee has received a briefing from the IC (intelligence community) on coronavirus, and continues to receive updates on the outbreak on a daily basis,” an official of the House Intelligence Committee told Reuters.
“Addressing the threat has both national security and economic dimensions, requiring a concerted government-wide effort and the IC is playing an important role in monitoring the spread of the outbreak, and the worldwide response,” the official added.
The main role of the US intel agencies currently is to monitor the spread of coronavirus that has killed many across the world and asses the responses of the governments.