К : Reuters… Amman…

Published : 30. March 2020. 11:49:32

Syria reports the first death from a coronavirus, reinforcing fears of a major outbreak of the disease. The World Health Organisation has warned that the country has limited capacity to deal with the rapid spread of the virus. REUTERS/ Khalil Ashavi

On Sunday, the Syrian Ministry of Health reported that a woman who died after being hospitalised for emergency treatment had been infected with the coronavirus in the first official report of deaths due to the disease in the country.

Syria also reported that the number of confirmed cases had risen to nine out of the previous five, but doctors and witnesses said there were many more. The authorities deny the cover-up, but impose blockades and draconian measures, including a nationwide curfew, to end the pandemic.

The transition to the closure of businesses, schools, universities, mosques and most government institutions, as well as the closure of public transport, has created fear among the war-affected residents.

In several cities, shopping panic arose, with residents reporting food shortages and increased demand that pushed up prices for the curfew.

The United Nations notes that the country is at high risk of a major epidemic because of the fragility of the health system destroyed by the Nine Years’ War and the lack of sufficient equipment to detect the virus, and because of the large number of vulnerable people.

The World Health Organisation has warned that the country has limited capacity to deal with the rapid spread of the virus.

On Sunday, the army announced the end of military service at the Army Reserves. He has already completed the appeal, with the defectors saying it was an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading through the ranks.

The government has also banned the movement of persons between governors. The security forces manned checkpoints near provincial towns and, according to witnesses, only allowed military vehicles and basic facilities through.

The opposition and independent politicians point to Damascus’ close links with Iran, the most affected country in the region, as a possible source of infection.

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