The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday announced that it had detected two coronavirus cases in the Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The humanitarian organisation added that the two patients were “transferred to quarantine facilities after testing positive late Monday,” adding that their neighbours had been “isolated as more testing is being carried out”.
“This is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in refugee camps in Jordan,” UNHCR said, noting that it was “working closely with the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate and the health ministry to carry out tests on those who were living with the patients, their neighbors, and everyone who had contact with them.”
It called on the local authorities to find solutions “through international solidarity and cooperation.”
More than 5.5 million Syrians have fled the country since the war broke out in 2011, with most settling in neighbouring countries where they often live in close quarters and struggle to make ends meet. Coronavirus lockdowns have taken a heavy toll on the region’s economies, making it even harder for refugees to find work.
Azraq is home to around 40,000 Syrian refugees, while the larger Zaatari camp in Jordan houses around 80,000. Jordan hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees, most of whom live outside of camps. At least four Syrian refugees living outside the camps in Jordan have tested positive, with three having recovered.
So far, a total of 2,478 have contracted the virus in Jordan, 17 of whom have died and 1,840 have recovered, according to official data.