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Fears of Spike in COVID-19 Infections Stirred in Idlib IDP Camps

Fears of Spike in COVID-19 Infections Stirred in Idlib IDP Camps

Monday, 18 January, 2021 - 08:45
Syrian internally displaced persons at camps in northwestern Syria (AFP)

The health committee of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES), for the fifth day in a row, has not reported any new coronavirus cases east of the Euphrates region. This follows the body spotting 26 cases last Saturday.

So far, a total of 8,340 infections have been documented, followed by 284 Covid-19 deaths and 1,172 recoveries.

Co-chair of the NES health committee Joan Mustafa credited public awareness and commitment to social distancing as key drivers in the drop in cases recorded.

“The main reason is the citizens' commitment to bans, social distancing, and health prevention methods. This greatly contributed to the decrease in the number of people infected with the virus and brought it under control,” he said, noting that the committee has registered the greatest decrease in the number of daily infections since March, 2020.

A 10-day extension on a partial curfew in NES regions ends this Tuesday with many expecting lighter restrictions due to declining infection rates.

“People are required to be the first shield in protecting themselves from disease and staying away from gatherings, as failure to adhere to restrictions will boost infections and increase the rate of daily cases reported,” Mustafa emphasized.

In northwestern Syria, local opposition authorities recorded 15 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in areas under their control to 20,822.

The interim government of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, however, published a graph showing 136 new recoveries.

In northwest Syria, near borders with Turkey, several tents inhabited by internally displaced persons (IDPs) were washed away by heavy rains.

Heavily crowded IDP camps such as Deir Hassan, Atma, and Hazano in Idlib witnessed several tents sinking due to low-pressure systems and torrents in the region.

Local activists have warned against the serious damage caused by the deluge, stressing that it only worsens already bad humanitarian conditions and threatens to expose many to the coronavirus.

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