NORTH AND EAST SYRIA: Democratic Autonomous Administration re-introduces curfew and gathering ban to counter spread of COVID-19

ZALIN (QAMISHLI), Syria – As the Coronavirus has reached the status of a country-wide outbreak with most cases in areas controlled by the Syrian Baath regime, which is some 70% of pre-war Syria, officially confirmed cases remain suspiciously low.

The UN on Wednesday confirmed that the problem is now a country-wide problem and that cases have now been confirmed in all but one of Syria’s governorates. Limited testing capacity and poor adherence to prevention measures and lock-downs mask the real scale of the outbreak, the UN said. 70%t of health facilities and hospitals in the country are out of service among others due to the military operations launched by the Syrian Baath regime and the Russians.

A reason for the suspiciously low officially confirmed cases might also be that the cash-strapped Baath regime in this matter pursues a policy of concealing true statistics in an attempt to cover failure to address the pandemic and avert attention away from the dire state of its health services. Officially there are a couple of hundred confirmed cases but according to sources to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the number of confirmed cases has reached more than 2,200, the majority of them in Daramsuq (Damascus) and its countryside.

In the areas of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) the Health Directorate confirmed some 17 new cases in all 3 regions of the DAA with 11 cases in the Gozarto Region (al-Jazeera), 3 in Deir-ez-Zor and 3 in Raqqa.

The DAA this week re-introduced a 10-day quarantine and curfew in the Gozarto Region where gatherings of all sort are banned for the period. Travel between the Gozarto Region and the 2 other regions of the DAA is restricted. Gatherings during the Islamic Eid al-Adha or Eid Qurban (Feast of the Sacrifice) are not allowed.