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Syrian Interim Government says that no COVID-19 cases were registered in Northern Syria; China revises up 1290 deaths in Wuhan

Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
Translation: Nouha Salti

Syria - SMART

The Syrian Interim Government announced that no COVID-19 cases were registered so far in areas outside the Syrian government forces control in Northern Syria. The Interim Government took additional procedures to prevent the spread of the virus in its controlled areas, which are overpopulated by millions of people and displaced people, as the spread of the pandemic in these areas could lead to a catastrophe.

The virus continues spreading in Syrian’s neighboring countries, while several countries accused China of covering up COVID-19 cases and deaths. Recently, China revised up the death toll, adding 1290 deaths in the city of Wuhan only.

No COVID-19 cases in Northern Syria:

The Health Ministry of the Syrian Interim Government said that tests’ results of patients, who were suspected to have COVID-19 in Northern Syria, were confirmed negative.

In a statement, the Ministry added that the total number of conducted tests until Apr. 17, 2020, reached 197, and all of them were confirmed negative.

On Friday, the Syrian Interim Government issued new precautionary procedures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Northern Syria.

he decision allowed people who produce essential needs, medicine, and medical necessities to continue work under the condition of a pre-permission from the local council that coordinates with authorities specialized in controlling and implementing the procedures. 


The decision added that workers in such kind of production have to prove their work and hand over materials within 48 hours.

The decision emphasized that movement of humanitarian field workers will be controlled, in addition to health, security, and Civil Defense workers, and people who recovered from diseases and want to return to their areas, and those who want to travel for treatment, under the condition of obtaining travel permission from the local council.

The government stressed that employees of public services and  agricultural workers have to obtain documents from the local council to continue their work and agricultural production.

Concerning places of gatherings, the government said that it will close seating places in restaurants and cafes, as work is only limited to provide services by delivery. The government added that employees and sellers in street markets and customers have to wear medical face masks and gloves as much as possible. The government added that the sellers have to leave a three-meter space between stalls in markets, and hand over items to customers without touching them.

The government noted that the people who are not included by curfew are allowed to walk in squares and streets as they keep two meters away from one another to sustain their safety. The government prevented meetings and sit-ins until further notice to monitor and implement social distancing and postpone wedding parties temporarily.  

Syrian government suspends work until further notice:

the Syrian government announced extending work suspension until further notice in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Syrian government media channels reported that the Syrian government extended the work suspension for employees in governmental institutes until further notice, adding that ministers will organize the work in each related institute in order to achieve safety requirements with the minimum number of employees.

After deploying medical groups on the entries of the cities, the government allowed the movement of citizens between the governorates on Mondays and Thursdays of each week

The government stressed the need to tighten the procedures for curfews, regarding moving from the countryside to the cities, and vice versa, in order to achieve the complete implementation of the curfew.

Food prices continue increasing:

Prices of vegetables and basic food products increased about 15 percent in the past 24 hours, in the Syrian Democratic Forces-controlled city of al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria.

Shop owners in the city reported to SMART that the price of one kilogram of tomatoes rose to 850 Syrian pounds, after it was 750 SYP, while the price of one kilogram of potatoes rose to 650, after it was 500 SYP.

The shop owners added that the price of one kilogram of oranges rose from 650 to 750 SYP, while the price of one kilogram of apples rose to 900 after it was 750 SYP, as garlic price rose to 1,500 SYP, after it was 1,000.

The price of one kilogram of ghee reached 1400 SYP after it was 1200 SYP, while the price of one liter of vegetable oil reached 1,200 after it was 1,000 SYP, and the price of one kilogram of rice reached 1,750 SYP with an increase of 150 SYP in one day.

The price of 30 eggs increased from 2,850 to 3,000 SYP, and prices of canned food also increased the, as the price of a sardine can reached 600 SYP, and tuna can 1,100 SYP, while the of one can of luncheon meat reached 550 SYP, an increase of 100 SYP for each variety.

As for the reasons for the high prices, the traders said that this increase is due to the difficulty of reaching these goods from areas controlled by the Syrian government forces because of the high costs of transportation and imposing high costs at the checkpoints, in addition to some traders monopolizing the goods and vegetables in the area.

China revises up death toll in Wuhan:

On Friday, China revised up the death toll due to coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, adding 1,290 new deaths.

Wuhan’s epidemic and prevention and control headquarters stated that the number of total cases in the city raised by 1,290 cases, raising the total number of cases to 2,579 and deaths to 3,969.

Wuhan’s epidemic and prevention and control headquarters added, “due to the insufficiency in admission and treatment capability, a few medical institutions failed to connect with the disease prevention and control system in time, while hospitals were overloaded and medics were overwhelmed with patients.

China ranks seventh with the number of COVID-19 cases that reached 82,692, 4632 of them died until April 17, 2020, according to Worldometers.

COVID-19 cases increase in Syria’s neighboring countries:

Lebanon registered five new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday raising the tally to 663.

The Health Ministry said that the cases were all recorded among Lebanese residents, noting that no deaths were registered during the last 24 hours.

Jordan’s Health Ministry registered one new COVID-19 case, raising the tally to 402.

A source from the Ministry reported to SMART that the Ministry registered one new case for a medic who works in a private hospital.

The source added that the total number of cases in Jordan reached 402, nine of them recovered, raising the number of recoveries to 259.

Iraq’s Health Ministry registered 19 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally to 1,434.

In a statement, the Ministry said that its laboratories recorded 19 new cases, six of them in Rusafa, four of them in Maysan, three of them in Sulaymaniyah, and one case in each of Karkh, Basrah, Karbala, al-Muthanna, Nineveh, and Wasit.

Turkey confirmed 125 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 1,643.

Turkey's Ministry of Health announced that the total number of registered coronavirus cases in the country surged to 74,193 as 4,801 more people tested positive for the virus.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said in a tweeted, "We have surpassed the daily target of 40,000 tests. The increase in the number of cases is now predictable.”

On Dec. 31, 2019, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spread in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus has infected more than 2.2 million people until April 17, 2020 in more than 210 countries, about 152,000 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.