Syria: First COVID-19 case registered in Idlib province

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in north-western Syria's Idlib province on Thursday, in a region that is already reeling with over 900,000 internally displaced people (IDP) from the Syrian war. Doctors in Idlib were seen examining children and writing prescriptions on Friday. The infected person was reported to be a doctor in his 30s who contracted the virus at Bab al-Hawa hospital in Idlib province, near the Turkish border. According to aid groups, the doctor went into self-isolation as soon as he displayed symptoms and his contacts were being traced. An order was issued Thursday to «suspend all unnecessary surgeries and external clinic services in all hospitals and medical centres across Idlib governorate for one week starting on Friday,» said Idlib Health Directorate media office director Ayman Zahran. «We have already dedicated three hospitals to treat coronavirus patients and are preparing three quarantine centres,» Zahran continued. «Within the next two weeks another 15 quarantine centres will be ready, out of the 30 centres set to be opened across the governorate.» It is estimated by UN organisations that over 900,000 civilians have been forced to move to safety due to the fighting in the area, since the beginning of 2020.
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