The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Coronavirus in regime-held areas: nearly 130 persons quarantined and 15 Iranians and Iraqis test positive in Deir Ezzor

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has been tracking the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the regime-controlled areas. Reliable medical sources in Damascus, Homs, Latakia and Tartus have informed SOHR that the number of people quarantined because of the spread of COVID-19, rose to 128.

Among the total toll, there are 56 cases have been discharged from the hospital after testing negative to the virus, while 72 other cases still awaiting for the results. According to the medical sources, a nurse died of the infection but regime authorities demanded that matter be kept secret.

In Al-Mayadin city in Deir Ezzor, the number of Iranian-backed militiamen who have tested positive to the disease rose to 15 persons (11 Iranians and four Iraqis). Another Iranian person died of pneumonitis. Reports suggested that he died of coronavirus but SOHR has not verified this claim.

We, at the Syrian Observatory, call upon the World Health Organization to move and exert pressure on the Syrian regime to disclose the infected cases in its controlled areas, for the safety of Syrian civilians there.

Syrian Observatory sources reported yesterday that he Syrian government announced suspension of work in all public facilities from Sunday, the 22nd of March until further notice. In a relevant context, the government published a circular on its “facebook page” today asking ministries to take the necessary decisions to suspend work in the ministries and its affiliated entities, as long as the suspension does not constitute an obstacle to efforts to face the risks of the spread of the Coronavirus.

Regime-held areas experience closure of markets and suspension of all commercial, service, cultural and social activities in all provinces. Syrian regime took earlier decisions regarding suspension of classes in schools and universities, in addition to minimizing staff in public institutions at 40 percent of normal levels. The government also closed Citizen Service Centers in all provinces, public parks, cinema houses, theaters, clubs, sports halls, internet cafes and night clubs.

Regime Ministry of Defense also suspended sports activities in the military barracks for fear of spread of coronaviorus among soldiers. In today’s statement, the ministry said that all sports activities, especially indoors ones have been all suspended, it also reduced gatherings and crowds, eased congestion in order to protect soldiers, and asserted on the use of gloves and masks.

The military hospitals became in high alert, so that they could accommodate the emergency cases and provide necessary care.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Defense decided to temporarily stop pursuing and driving military deserters to military service until the 20th of April, all legal procedures against them will be also halted.