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Syrian government confirms four new COVID-19 cases; Displaced people lack medical care in al-Rukban camp

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

Syria - SMART

On Tuesday, the Syrian government’s Health Ministry confirmed four new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, bringing the total of the officially confirmed cases in the Syrian government-controlled areas to 29. Displaced people in the al-Rukban camp near the Syrian-Jordanian border complain about the lack of medical care, as Jordan closed the border with the camp, leaving the people to face their fate.

The ministry issued a statement saying that they registered four new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of infected people to 29, including two deaths and five cases of recovery. The ministry did not specify any further details.

Displaced people complain about lack of medical services in al-Rukban camp:

People complained about the lack of medical services in the al-Rukban camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border, 240 kilometers southeast of Homs, due to Syrian government forces’ siege and closing Jordanian border.  

On Monday, Journalist Imad Ghali, who resides in the camp, reported to SMART that the al-Aoun medical clinic in Jordan (10 kilometers far from the camp) has stopped receiving the displaced people for three weeks due to closing the Jordanina border after COVID-19 spread. 

Ghali noted that there are five pregnants who need Caesarean sections in the camp, amidst the absence of doctors or specialists to conduct surgeries, and the lack of equipped surgery rooms. Ghali mentioned the risk of potential cases of COVID-19 in the camp as the disease may spread among the residents, amidst impossibility of providing medical services for infection cases or quarantining them.  

Ghali added that there are only two medical clinics in the camp that shelters 50,000 displaced people. Ghali said that the workers of the clinics are trainees who have not medicine certificates, rather they underwent trainings and treated people, amidst the lack of even medicine due to siege. 

COVID-19 aggravates Syrians’ suffering on economic level: 

Residents in the Syrian government-controlled city of Hama, Central Syria, sold their gold collectibles to provide their daily needs due to deteriorating economic conditions as a result of curfew imposed by the Syrian government to fight COVID-19.

A resident, who introduced herself as Um Muhammad, reported to SMART that the company in which her husband works has closed since a month with the start of curfew, hence her husband’s salary was suspended. Um Muhammad added that poor economic conditions forced her to sell a piece of gold to pay for accumulated debts, amidst expensiveness.

Another resident, who introduced herself as Um-Saeed, reported to SMART that poor economic conditions and inability to pay her house's rent after curfew forced her to sell a piece of gold to pay for the rent. 

Residents of Hama complained about an economic crisis after thousands of workers stopped work. Therefore, people who own gold had to sell it via social media such as Facebook due to the lockdown of the gold market in Hama, amidst demands to reopen the market.

Erdogan announces partial curfew in Turkey:

On Monday, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan announced temporary curfew that starts this weekend as a precautionary procedure against COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2.

Speaking in Istanbul, after attending a cabinet meeting via teleconference, Erdogan said, the lock-down would start at midnight on April 17, and would last until midnight on Apr 19. Erdogan added, “We decided to continue to impose these bans, if necessary.”

In coincidence, Turkey registered 98 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 1,296.  

On April 13, 2020, the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca stated that Turkey confirmed 4,093 more infection cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total of infected people to 61,049.

Koca added that the total of recovery cases reached 511 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total of people who recovered to 3,957. 

Cases of COVID-19 increase in Lebanon and Iraq:

On Tuesday, the cases of COVID-19 increased to 641 in Lebanon.

The Lebanese Health Ministry posted on social media that they registered nine new cases, bringing the total of infected people to 641, including 21 deaths. 

The Iraqi Health Ministry registered 26 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of infected people to 1,378. 

The ministry issued a statement saying that laboratories registered 26 new cases of COVID-19, six of them in al-Basra, four in al-Najaf and Dhi-Qar, three in each of al-Rusafah, al-Diwaniyah, Wasit, and Medicine City, two in Babylon, and one case in each of al-Karkh and Maysan.

The statement added that the ministry registered two deaths and 77 cases of recovery, bringing the total of infected people to 1,378, including 78 deaths and 717 cases of recovery.

France extends quarantine for additional month:

The French President Emmanuel Macron extended quarantine until Monday, May 11, 2020 to face COVID-19. 

In a televised address, Macron said that schools will open gradually starting from May 11, 2020, but universities, cafes, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and theatres will remain closed until ar least July.

Macron added that the French border will remain closed until a date to be announced later, according to Franch 24

On Monday, April 13, 2020, France has registered 136,779 cases of COVID-19, 14,967 of them died.

On Dec. 31, 2019, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spread in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus has infected about 1,980,000 people until April 14, 2020  in more than 210 countries, about 126,000 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.