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PCR is not ready to detect COVID-19 in Idlib; SDF shelling kills and injures 12 civilians in northern Aleppo

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Editing: Ayham Nasif |
TranslationEditor: Glory Jabr |
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Publication date: 2020/03/18 16:38
Update date: 2020/03/18 16:43

Local and field news:

Shahem Makki, the manager of the Epidemiological Surveillance Laboratory in Idlib, Northern Syria, reported to SMART that the PCR device, used to detect coronavirus COVID-19, still lacks diagnostic reagents to start analyzing the samples. Makki noted that these diagnostic reagents must be provided from Turkey.

The Health Directorate in areas outside Syrian government control in the Aleppo governorate, Northern Syria, advised the people to avoid gatherings to prevent infection with COVID-19.

A medical source at the Mari Hospital, 31 kilometers north of Aleppo, said that they receive 300 patients on a daily basis due to fever, cough and cold.

On Wednesday, Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) artillery shelling killed and injured 12 civilians in the city of Afrin. The Turkish Army responded to the shelling.

An explosive device planted by unknown persons killed a commander of the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement west of Idlib.

In Northeastern Syria, the Kurdish Autonomous Administration announced carrying out new precautionary procedures in its controlled areas to combat the COVID-19 disease.

Unknown persons wrote slogans on the walls of several cities and villages in the Daraa governorate, Southern Syria, on the anniversary of the first revolutionary movement in the governorate. The slogans stated that the revolution continues.

On Tuesday, the al-Karamah Forces detained two members of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia in the al-Suwayda governorate.

International and political news:

The United States imposed sanctions on the Defense Minister of the Syrian government, Ali Abdullah Ayoub, due to the attacks on the Idlib governorate.

On Tuesday night, the Turkish Ministry of Health announced the death of the first case of COVID-19 in Turkey, and the number of infected people increased to 98.

In a press conference in Ankara, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the patient was an 89-year-old male who was infected with COVID-19 from his employee who was in China. Koca noted that Turkey detected 51 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 98.

On Tuesday, a study published by scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, UCLA and Princeton University, shows that COVID-19 was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The results of the study show that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.