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Coronavirus: Idlib’s first Covid-19 case raises fears for Syria camps

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Support teams concern coronavirus might devastate refugee camps in north-west Syria

A primarily rebel-held province in north-west Syria has confirmed its first coronavirus case, sparking fears of a devastating outbreak in crowded camps holding displaced folks.

A health care provider contracted the virus at a hospital in a city in Idlib close to the Turkish border, help teams mentioned.

They mentioned the physician was self-isolating and his contacts had been being traced.

The hospital the place the physician labored has been closed, mentioned a World Well being Group official in Turkey.

For months help teams have issued stark warnings in regards to the dangers of a coronavirus outbreak in north-western Syria.

Final yr, the Syrian authorities launched an offensive to retake Idlib – the final opposition-held province within the area – from jihadist forces.

Virtually a million folks have fled their houses within the space since final December, with lots of them now residing in overcrowded refugee camps with insufficient healthcare services and little clear water.

There are fears the virus will unfold quickly by means of these susceptible populations, overwhelming an already ravaged healthcare system.

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Media captionCoronavirus: Fears of virus in Idlib refugee camps

Round six million folks in whole are estimated to be internally displaced inside Syria, the place a civil conflict has been raging since 2011.

A fragile ceasefire is presently place in Idlib. Worldwide charity Save the Youngsters says that the truce wants to carry if there’s any likelihood of containing the illness.

“Now greater than ever, weapons want to stay silent, the ceasefire wants to carry and all efforts need to be geared in the direction of the help and well being response,” Sonia Khush, Save the Youngsters’s Syria response director, mentioned.

She mentioned the affirmation of the primary case in Idlib was “a significant blow to the tens of millions of civilians – primarily girls and youngsters – residing on this space”.

Syria has formally recorded 372 circumstances of coronavirus, together with 14 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US, which is tracking the pandemic.

However given the shortage of testing, the variety of infections and deaths are regarded as larger. As of 30 June, simply 1,661 checks have been carried out in north-west Syria, according to Save the Children.

The charity mentioned it understood there was just one testing facility within the area.

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