ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Health Organization expressed concern on Thursday over an expected health emergency in Ukraine after Russian forces invaded the country.

“Amid the conflict rapidly unfolding in Ukraine, the WHO Regional Office for Europe reiterates its deepest concern for the safety, health and wellbeing of all civilians impacted by the crisis in the country and possibly beyond,” its regional office for Europe said in a statement, adding any further escalation could result in a humanitarian catastrophe.

“WHO/Europe is working closely with all UN partners in rapidly scaling up readiness to respond to the expected health emergency triggered by the conflict, protecting our staff, and minimizing disruptions to the delivery of critical health care services,” it said.

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