المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Despite all precautionary measures to fight coronavirus, Autonomous Administration-held areas lack advanced equipment to diagnose infected cases, and SOHR calls upon WHO to take action

Catastrophic situation of the Syrians who have experienced the nightmare of nine-year-old war, as well as the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, test the faith placed in the World Health Organization, especially with expectations of a dramatic increase in the number of infected cases.

According to SOHR sources, the health organizations operating now in northern Syria are transnational organizations like “Medecins Sans Frontieres” (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders), some Italian organizations and the Kurdish Red Crescent, in cooperation with Health Department of Autonomous Administration in northern and north-eastern Syria.

The World Health Organization has not provided any support to the area, especially the advanced equipment needed for PCR tests. The organization’s bureau in Al-Qamishly, run by five persons, has been content with mere promises.

It seems that the Syrian government attempt to undermine the WHO’s bureau in Al-Qamishly, especially since the region of northern and north-eastern Syria lack potentials needed for diagnosing infected cases. As a result, Health facilities have to send samples to the regime’s Ministry of Health and wait for the results in five days.

In relevant context, the region accommodates overpopulated refugee camps, like Al-Hool camp with some 67,000 persons live in, while other camps, such as those camps in Al-Hasakah, are suffering from deteriorating services and lack of water, which make them lack of minimum hygienic norms. The closure of border crossing between northern Syria and Iraq also had negative effect on provided supply to the region.

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, call upon the World Health Organization provide test tools and lend a helping hand to avoid a new crisis that may ruin the Syrians.

Autonomous Administration in northern and north-eastern Syria has already imposed precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and managed so far to control the situation. However, these efforts can not be effective without the help and support of WHO.

Autonomous Administration started general curfew in its controlled areas a week ago. It has also sterilized public facilities, institutions and streets, in addition to ongoing awareness-raising campaigns throughout these areas.

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