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Paris: The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in 2020, according to a report released by the Global Fund Wednesday.

Compared with 2019, the number of people reached with HIV prevention and treatment dropped 11 per cent last year, while HIV testing dropped by 22 per cent, holding back new treatment in most countries.

The number of people treated for drug-resistant TB in the countries where the Global Fund invests dropped by “a staggering” 19 per cent, with those on treatment for extensively drug-resistant TB registering an even bigger drop of 37 per cent, it said.