NORTH and EAST SYRIA: Renewed outbreak of Coronavirus in Syria and Iraq raises concerns and fears

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA – Now that the Coronavirus pandemic is spreading to Syrian regions and neighboring countries, especially in Iraq, residents of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) in Syria fear the possibility of the virus spreading to their areas. With contractions in Syria approaching 300 cases, combined with the spread of the virus in neighboring Iraq, the possible reopening of border crossings, and the movement of travelers, makes residents fear for the worst. According to the Syrian Ministry of Health, Syria might introduce a new curfew after the end of the current Baccalaureate school exams.

The precautionary measures taken by the DAA, including a curfew, sterilizations, equipping health centers, quarantine centers and special training for medical personnel, helped in preventing the outbreak of COVID-19 in the DAA regions. Co-Chair of the DAA Health Authority and member of the Crisis Cell to Combat the Coronavirus, Dr. Jwan Mustafa said to Hawar News Agency; “Due to the Eid holidays, measures at all the border crossings were somewhat more loose, although all precautions and medical procedures stayed in place and all those arriving in the area were subjected to medical checks. In the coming period, we will reassess the status of these border crossings, increase precautionary and preventive measures and make them thorough and frequent.”

Dr. Mustafa pointed out the possibility of re-imposing a new curfew in the region if necessary. However, the most important task now is further educating the people how to protect themselves and preparing to live with the new reality that might last for a long time. According to Dr. Mustafa, the DAA received medical aid and equipment from the World Health Organization to detect the Coronavirus. He also noted that the arrival of medical aid to the Region is facing great difficulty due to the closure of the al-Yarubiya border crossing.