HASAKAH, Syria – The Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC) in cooperation with several international organizations have inaugurated the first hospital to exclusively treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the countryside of Hasakah, Syria. The hospital has been equipped with 60 beds, oxygen cylinders, some medical equipment to be used for cases of “moderately dangerous” COVID-19 cases. The newly established hospital still lacks the ventilators and intensive care equipment necessary to treat severe COVID-19 cases.
The aim of establishing the COVID-19 hospital is to separate confirmed cases from suspected ones, in addition to easing the potential burden placed on other medical centers.
A second hospital with a capacity of 60 beds is to be established soon in the same province. The Health Directorate of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria plans on constructing additional COVID-19 hospitals in Raqqa and Mabbug (Manbij).
Medical staff of the KRC are being trained in Hasakah by doctors of Un Ponte Per (UPP), an Italian humanitarian aid organization created in the aftermath of the first Iraq War in 1991.
The KRC had already formed a COVID-19 emergency team in Hasakah due to the increasing concerns of the emerging coronavirus outbreak in North and East Syria after a number of cases have been confirmed within the areas controlled by the Syrian regime.
One confirmed case, which resulted in death, has been confirmed in DAA territory in the city of Zalin (Qamishli). The case was contentious in that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Syrian regime both knew the patient was confirmed to have COVID-19 but failed to notify the Health Directorate of the DAA who were responsible for the patients care.