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First cases of COVID-19 are registered in Northern Syria; Report accuses WHO of underestimating severity of pandemic risks in Idlib

Editing: Hosam Saleem |
TranslationEditor: Glory Jabr |
Translation: Muhammad Ghaith

Local and field updates: 

A medical source revealed that four cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, were registered in the Afrin area, 44 kilometers north of Aleppo, Northern Syria. These cases are the first to be registered in areas outside Syrian government forces control, Northwestern Syria.

The source added that the Dar al-Shifa Hospital in Afrin received five people who showed COVID-19 symptoms. The hospital sent samples of the people to Turkey. The results confirmed that four of the people are infected with COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Syrian government’s Health Ministry registered a new case of COVID-19, bringing the total of announced cases to 45.

Unknown warplanes bombed 25 bases of Iranian and Iraqi militias in the Deir al-Zor governorate, Eastern Syria.

Local sources reported that unknown warplanes bombed the bases of the Zainabiyoun Brigade, Liwa al-Muntathar, and the Iraqi Hezbollah Militia in the village of Sabikhan and the al-Majabel area in the al-Quriyah desert in the al-Mayadin countryside. The sources added that the warplanes bombed the villages of Muaizalah, al-Hasyan, Mahkan, and al-Asharah in Deir al-Zor. The sources noted the bombing occurred on Monday night and Tuesday morning.  

On Tuesday, the Syrian government forces destroyed two Turkish military machines on the edges of the city of Saraqib, 17 kilometers east of Idlib, Northern Syria.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a raid and arrest campaign in the city of al-Busayrah and town of al-Bariha, northeastern Deir al-Zor, under the cover of International Coalition warplanes.

A media source, who prefered to remain anonymous, from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units reported to SMART that on Wednesday, the SDF arrested 13 Islamic State (IS) suspects in the Nahiyat al-Busayrah, 35 kilometers southeast of Deir al-Zor. 

Unknown persons killed an SDF fighter and injured another in the village of Muaizalah, northern al-Raqqa, Northeastern Syria.

Residents found the body of a Syrian government forces’ member thrown on a dirt road between the towns of Umm Walad in the Daraa governorate and Jubaib in the al-Suwayda governorate, Southern Syria.

The Initial Response Team of the al-Raqqa Civil Council of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration retrieved six new bodies from a mass grave in al-Raqqa.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Interim Government’s Education Ministry modified the date of secondary and preparatory certificates exams at schools that the ministry supervises in Northern Syria. 

On Wednesday, local sources revealed that fighters of the Syrian National Army affiliated with the Syrian Interim Government are involved in smuggling operations to the Syrian government-controlled areas in the al-Bab area, 38 kilometers east of Aleppo. 

Political and international updates: 

Syrian doctors and researchers who led on the new research "The COVID-19 Forecast in Northwest Syria: The Imperative of Global Action to Avoid Catastrophe," said that the World Health Organization's coronavirus response has been inadequate, and new forecasting shows that the WHO has severely underestimated the risks of an outbreak to Idlib’s largely displaced population.


On Tuesday, the Response Coordinators Team-Syria warned against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in displaced people’s camps, Northern Syria, amidst overpopulation. 

The team issued a statement saying that the absence of social distancing that is necessary for protection against COVID-19 in the camps poses risk to the displaced people, as the distance between tents does not exceed one meter.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) issued a report saying that April was the minimal month in terms of victims in Syria in 2020. The SNHR attributed the reason for the decrease of military operations to precautionary procedures against COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Iranian Health Ministry stated that the total of people infected with COVID-19 in Iran exceeded 100,000 after registering 1,680 new cases. 

The Russian Health Ministry registered 10,559 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of cases to 165,929.

The Lebanese Health Ministry registered nine new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of infected people to 750.

The Jordanian Health Ministry registered two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of cases to 473.

Brazil exceeded China in terms of the total of cases as the announced cases reached 115,953. Brazil exceeded the officially registered cases in China that reached 82,883.