In Syria, civilians are struggling to protect themselves against a potential outbreak of coronavirus in northwestern Syria's Idlib where regime attacks have decimated the health sector, the White Helmets civil defence group said yesterday.
"Russian and [the] regime's immoral and inhumane campaigns against Syrians driving them into inhospitable tent life have put more than 4 million civilians at risk of the impending disaster of the spread of coronavirus in northwestern Syria," the White Helmets wrote yesterday on Twitter.
"In conjunction with the preventive disinfection operations against the coronavirus, the White Helmets teams are visiting people in camps and various towns to provide medical guidelines on prevention to increase societal awareness among civilians about the virus," the White Helmets also stated.
In conjunction with the preventive disinfection operations against #CoronaVIrus, the #WhiteHelmets Teams are visiting people in camps and various towns to provide medical guidelines on prevention to increase societal awareness among civilians about the virus. pic.twitter.com/FSv7UT8fbM
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) March 24, 2020
IDLIB, SYRIA – MARCH 24: Members of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) disinfect tents inhabited by families as a preventive measure against coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Idlib, Syria on March 24, 2020.
Photographer: Muhammed SAID/@anadoluimages #idlib pic.twitter.com/9fSqZlc9QG
— MUHAMMED SAID (@mohamad_saeed4) March 24, 2020
Our lady #WhiteHelmets are working long hours to ensure women and children receive the basic medical care and counseling required. Many young mothers and older women depend on the knowledge and guidance of the White Helmets in such unstable times. pic.twitter.com/PIKRaPkNh5
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) March 20, 2020
The World Health Organisation has said testing for the novel coronavirus is to start within days in northwest Syria, amid fears of a disaster if the pandemic reaches overcrowded displacement camps.
According to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which works on the ground in opposition-held northwest Syria, opposition groups tried to limit the movement of people at two checkpoints at the frontline in northern Syria, fearing that infection could spread from government-held areas.
Last Wednesday, Germany announced it has suspended its refugee resettlement programmes due to the coronavirus outbreak and imposed travel restrictions to stem its spread.