Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his wife, First Lady Asma, have both tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement released today by his office.
بعد شعورهما بأعراض خفيفة تشبه أعراض الإصابة بفايروس كوفيد – 19 أجرى الرئيس #الأسد والسيدة #أسماء_الأسد فحص الـ PCR وأظهرت النتيجة إصابتهما بالفايروس علماً أنهما بصحة جيدة وحالتهما مستقرة وسيتابعان عملهما خلال قضائهما فترة الحجر الصحي المنزلي التي ستستمر لأسبوعين أو ثلاثة أسابيع. pic.twitter.com/zZ9O1hZA2z
— Syrian Presidency (@Presidency_Sy) March 8, 2021
In a statement on Twitter, the Syrian Presidency account announced that both "were in good health and in stable condition" and that they would continue working from home during their quarantine period, which would last for two or three weeks. The Assads carried out a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test after feeling mild symptoms of the virus.
Officially, Syria has 15,981 cases of coronavirus with 1,063 reported deaths although the figures may be much higher amid the decade-old conflict in the country. Last week it was announced by Health Minister Hasan Al-Ghabbash that the COVID-19 vaccination drive will be carried out this week for its healthcare workers.
Damascus is currently engaged with both Russia and China over their domestically-produced vaccines and the government also signed up to the World Health Organisation's COVAX which seeks to ensure every country has access to the vaccines. Last month theNew York Times reported that Israel agreed to fund Russian-made vaccines for Syria as part of a prisoner swap deal, although both countries denied the reports.