Panic After COVID-19 Case Detected at Damascus Justice Palace
Hours after the Syrian Justice Ministry confirmed a coronavirus case among judges in Damascus and announced the suspicion of two new cases among legal aids, Justice Minister Hisham al-Shaar did an inspection tour of the Justice Palace in Damascus.
Al-Shaar visited all departments to review the extent of commitment to health preventative measures.
The confirmation of a coronavirus case at the Damascus Justice Palace spread panic among citizens, given that it is located at the heart of the capital and is a place regularly crowded by plaintiffs and defendants.
Its crowded character makes it almost impossible to implement all preventative measures.
While al-Shaar stressed that employees and visitors to the Justice Palace must wear masks and gloves and adhere to social distancing measures, he appeared in his tour to only be wearing a mask without any gloves and to not keep a safe distance from his entourage.
The justice minister threatened workers who don’t abide by preventative measures with punishment, he also asked the Justice Palace police to enforce the measures on all citizens and only grant access when they are met.
The Justice Ministry released a statement expressing its regret that a coronavirus case was detected among judges and said the other two suspected cases among legal aides were under observation.
The ministry asked all judges to abide by health preventative measures.
Thousands of Syrians visit the Justice Palace daily, which makes stemming the spread of the virus very difficult.
In other news, three Syrians died on Monday from the COVID-19 infection, raising the death toll to 19, the state news agency SANA reported.
Meanwhile, the health ministry reported 23 new coronavirus cases in the government-controlled areas, bringing the overall number of infections to 417, including 136 recoveries.
Last week, two people were reported to have contracted COVID-19 in rebel-held areas in Idlib Province in northwestern Syria.
In addition, six new cases were reported in Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria.
The first case was reported in government-controlled areas in March.
The Syrian government has taken several measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, such as imposing a curfew and shutting down businesses.
However, with the tough economic situation and the new sanctions imposed on the country, the government eased the restrictions, urging self-protection measures.