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Syrian government opens quarantine center for people infected with COVID-19 and extends suspending school and university for another month

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Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
TranslationEditor: Glory Jabr |
Translation: Muhammad Ghaith

Syria - SMART

The Syrian government continues to open medical centers to quarantine people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, amidst doubtful official statistics about the real numbers of infected people. The Syrian government extended suspending school and university for another month in an attempt to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19, as organizations warn of a disaster if the disease spreads in displaced people’s camps, Northern Syria.

The Syrian government opened a new quarantine center in the city of Aleppo, Northern Syria, to quarantine suspected cases and people infected with COVID-19. 

On Monday, a medical source, who prefered to remain anonymous, reported to SMART that the Syrian government opened a quarantine center in the Children’s Hospital in the al-Shaar neighborhood. The source added that the center accommodates 450 people. The source noted that the center includes two departments; the first is to quarantine people suspected to be infected with COVID-19, and the second for the infected people. The source added that the center includes a laboratory to take samples from patients.

The source said that 78 paramedics, including six doctors work in the center. The source noted that people who want to undergo tests in the laboratory reached 110; however, the medical staff still registers the people’s names and has not taken samples from them yet.

The source said that 420 patients visit the al-Razi and University hospitals per day for necessary medical tests to determine whether they are infected with COVID-19 or not.

Syrian government extends suspending school and university for additional month:

The Syrian government decided to extend suspending school and university in its controlled areas as a precautionary procedure against COVID-19. 

The Syrian government’s Education Ministry stated that the governmental team concerned about the strategy to fight COVID-19 issued a decision to extend suspending school and university until May 2, 2020.

On Saturday, the ministry emphasized that it was assigned to propose suggestions in ten days to handle the situation of transitional school stages and coordinate with concerned organizations to set a date for exams taking into consideration any updates of COVID-19 spread.  

COVID-19 infects fighters of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria:

On Sunday, the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) transported fighters they showed COVID-19 symptoms from the city of al-Bukamal, 122 kilometers southeast of Deir al-Zor, Eastern Syria.

A medical source reported to SMART that the IRGC transported 25 fighters from their headquarters in al-Bukamal to the Assad Hospital in the city of Deir al-Zor after they showed symptoms of COVID-19. 

Local sources added that days ago, the IRGC quarantined the suspected fighters in houses seized by the IRGC in the al-Jam’iyat neighborhood in al-Bukamal. 

The sources confirmed that the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces received 15 fighters who showed symptoms of COVID-19 and were transported to Iraq.

IHH warns of a disaster in displaced people’s camps:

On Sunday, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) warned of a humanitarian disaster if coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads in displaced people’s camps, Northern Syria.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Erhan Yemelek, the deputy head of IHH emphasized the need for support in the fight against COVID-19 especially in the northern governorates like Idlib and Aleppo where a million displaced people are currently living in refugee camps. Yemelek said it is impossible to maintain social distancing in camps, making the displaced people vulnerable to plagues.

Yemelek emphasized that the IHH is trying to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Yemelek said that they will build quarantine hospitals using tents, and if any confirmed cases appear, they will be treated at these hospitals. Yemelek added that the IHH distributed medical equipment and hygiene kits to the people in the camps for free.

The Civil Defense issued recommendations on how to deal with COVID-19 in Northern Syria. 

The Civil Defense issued a circulation calling to close schools,universities, and cafes, and suspend Friday prayers in mosques, and decrease markets’ work hours. The Civil Defense also called on institutions' workers to work from home.

The Civil Defense also called on people to social distancing, and stop travelling between governorates, except for emergencies. The Civil Defense issued instructions regarding personal hygiene and sterilizing houses’ surfaces and public places in a regular way.

Cases of COVID-19 increase in Turkey:

Turkey registered 97 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of deaths to 1,198. 

The Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that Turkey registered 4,789 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours. The total number of people infected increased to 56,956. Deaths increased to 1,198 after registering 97 new ones.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected Interior Minister’s resignation. The Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu offered his resignation after his sudden announcement of a weekend curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Anadolu Agency said that Erdogan did not find Soylu's request to resign suitable, and that he will continue in his duties as an interior minister.

On Sunday, Suleyman Soylu offered resignation due to the decision of sudden curfew that he announced on Friday to face coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Soylu said, “Responsibility for implementing the weekend curfew decision, which was aimed at preventing the epidemic, belongs entirely to me.”

Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq announce new cases of COVID-19:

The Jordanian Health Ministry registered eight new cases of COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2.

A source from the ministry reported to SMART that they registered three cases in the al-Hashmi neighborhood in Amman, two cases who got infected by their infected father, and three cases that were detected during random tests in Amman. 

The source added that the total of infected people reached 389; however, 24 people recovered, bringing the total of people who recovered to 201.

The source said that the ministry quarantined 181 people suspected to be infected with COVID-19.

The Iraqi Health Ministry registered 34 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of people infected to 1,352. 

The ministry issued a statement saying that its laboratories confirmed 34 cases  of COVID-19, 15 of them in al-Basra, eight in al-Rusafa, six in the Medicine City, four in al-Sulaymaniyah, and one in Erbil.

The statement added that on Sunday, four infected people died; however, 39 others recovered, bringing the total of the infected people to 1,352, 78 of them died and 640 recovered. 

Lebanon registered two new cases of COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2. 

The Lebanese Health Ministry posted on social media that the total of the people infected with COVID-19 increased to 632 after registering two new cases over the past 24 hours.

International Union of Muslim Scholars permits turning mosques into hospitals:

The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) issued a Fatwa that permits turning mosques’ yards into makeshift hospitals to treat people infected with COVID-19. 

The IUMS posted a statement on social media saying, “The need for places that support hospitals, especially with the large numbers of people infected with COVID-19, requires turning mosques’ yards into makeshift hospitals.” The statement added that the IUMS does not mind using a part of the mosque’s yard as a hospital if necessary.

The statement added that using mosques’ yards to treat the people infected with COVID-19 will restore movement in the yards and contribute to the alleviation of the people’s suffering, especially with crowded public hospitals.

On Dec. 31, 2019, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spread in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus has infected about 1,900,000 people until April 13, 2020  in more than 210 countries, about 118,000 of them died, according to the (Worldometer).

COVID-19 is an infectious disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2, that spreads from person-to-person and by respiratory droplets. These droplets fall on surrounding surfaces, so other people could be infected when they touch these surfaces by touching their eyes, noses, or mouths. People could be infected if they inhale droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it is important to keep a one-meter distance (three feet) away from infected people.

Infection symptoms include body aches, blocked nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. The symptoms begin as mild and develop gradually. Some people become infected without showing any symptoms and without feeling ill. About 80% of infected people recover from the disease without any special treatment.