Syria ‑ Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #7, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 – Syrian Arab Republic
• Health officials confirm 47 COVID-19 cases, including three deaths, in SARG-held areas and three cases with one death in northeast Syria
• More than 120,00 IDPs return to areas of origin in northwest Syria
• Relief actors adapt activities to mitigate COVID-19 transmission in Syria and continue food, health, shelter, and WASH support countrywide
• As of May 10, the Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) Ministry of Health (MoH) had confirmed 47 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, including three resultant deaths; the MoH total only includes cases reported in SARG-controlled areas, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reports. On April 16, health actors reported the first confirmed COVID-19 case and resultant death in northeast Syria, occurring in Al Hasakah Governorate’s Qamishli sub-district, followed by two additional confirmed COVID-19 cases in Al Hasakah on April 29. On May 6, WHO began investigating reports that several Government of Turkey (GoT) police officers in Aleppo Governorate’s Afrin District had tested positive for COVID-19 and had evacuated to Turkey; verification remained ongoing as of May 9, according to WHO. There are no reported cases in opposition-controlled parts of northwest Syria.
• An early March ceasefire in northwest Syria—negotiated by the GoT and the Government of the Russian Federation (GoRF)—largely continued to hold as of early May, although intermittent clashes and artillery shelling continued along conflict front lines, media report. The relative improvement in security conditions allowed more than 120,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to areas of origin in Aleppo and Idlib governorates as of May 8, according to the UN. An estimated 840,000 of the nearly 961,000 people displaced between December and the start of the ceasefire remain displaced, the UN reports.
• Humanitarian agencies—including USAID and State/PRM partners—continue to adjust programming in response to COVID-19-related concerns and provide food assistance, health services, shelter support, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services to vulnerable populations countrywide.
Opinions expressed in this article reflect the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Observatory.