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Syria Confirms 1st Coronavirus Case

Syria Confirms 1st Coronavirus Case

Sunday, 22 March, 2020 - 20:00
A health worker tests an internally displaced Syrian boy as part of security measures to avoid coronavirus, in Azaz, Syria, March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Asharq Al-Awsat

Syria said on Sunday it had confirmed its first case of coronavirus, in a person who had come from abroad.

Health Minister Nizar al-Yaziji told regime media the "necessary measures" had been taken.

There had been unconfirmed reports in recent weeks of coronavirus cases in Syria, whose health system, housing and infrastructure have been ravaged by nine years of civil war, but the authorities had denied them.

Syria has banned entry for foreigners arriving from many countries hit by the virus as part of widening measures to combat the epidemic.

"We have vulnerable populations in camps, refugees, slum areas at the outskirts of large urban centers," the World Health Organization's Syria representative, Nima Saeed Abid, told Reuters earlier this week.

"If we take the scenarios in China or even in Iran, we are expecting we may have large number of cases and we are preparing accordingly."

All the countries bordering Syria have coronavirus outbreaks.

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