A group of Daesh fighters. According to US and Iraqi military and intelligence officers, the Daesh is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits.  Image Credit: REX USA

London: Daesh has issued a travel advisory for its operatives to steer clear of coronavirus-hit Europe, described as “the land of the epidemic”.

According to The Sunday Times, the latest issue of the group’s Al Naba newsletter refers to a new set of “sharia directives” warning against travel to Europe.

The terror outfit, which has in the past encouraged operatives to plot attacks in Europe, also instructed those of its followers who may have become ill with coronavirus not to leave the region, in order to prevent the disease spreading.

The newsletter says that the “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it”. It also instructs followers to “cover their mouths when yawning and sneezing” and to wash their hands regularly.

Daesh has lost a lot of ground in the Middle East after a series of defeats, but it remains active in Iraq and Syria in a fragmented form. The Middle East has also been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with Iraq reporting 101 cases and 10 deaths from Covid-19.

Europe is now the epicentre of the worldwide pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), with Italy, France and Spain all banning public gatherings and the UK set to follow suit as the virus claimed over 5,300 lives around the world.