The war-torn country of Syria reported its first Coronavirus-related death on March 29, The Syrian government notified that an infected person died in the hospital soon after her arrival. In addition to the first death, Damascus even apprised about four new cases in the country.
The Syrian Health Ministry declared that a woman who had contracted COVID-19 died after she was hospitalised, as per the reports of state news media SANA. Even as Syria's Health Ministry confirmed 10 positive cases of Coronavirus, including one death, experts and doctors believe that the statistics could be must higher than revealed.
Despite downplaying the issue, the Bashar-al Assad-led Syria government, following the suit of other Middle Eastern countries banned all movements between provinces until April 16 on Sunday. It further imposed a lockdown and harsh measures, including a night curfew on Wednesday. The curfew necessitates shops to be shut from 6 PM to 6 AM and bans trade activities. On March 26, Syria's Interior Ministry announced that 152 people had been detained for violating the curfew. Countries across the Middle East have imposed sweeping measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, including closing their borders, canceling flights and in some cases imposing round-the-clock curfews.
In added precautionary measures, the Bashar-al Assad-led Syrian government has shut public spaces like parks, gyms, cafes, sports clubs, tourist facilities, mosques, public transport and also schools and universities. It further launched sterilisation campaigns and banned the movement of travelers.
Human Rights groups have warned about a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in Syria's rebel-held Idlib after the first case was reported on March 20 in the country. The war-torn province of Idlib in the northwest part of Syria is home to thousands of displaced refugees living in clustered refugee camps.
Last week on Tuesday, the World Health Organisation said that it would start setting up testing for the virus within days in Idlib. Apart from the crowded camps, the health-care facilities in the country expose a grim reality, wherein reportedly 70% of the country's medical workers have fled the country. While the number of cases in Syria has remained relatively low, the United Nations has said the impact of the virus in the country could potentially be "catastrophic."
(With AP inputs)