Humanitarian Update Syrian Arab Republic - Issue 11 | 30 May 2020

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is produced by OCHA Syria in Damascus in collaboration with WHO Syria and Damascus-based humanitarian partners, and does not reflect cross-border operations. The next report will be issued on or around 6 June 2020.


• Number of people confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to have COVID-19: 122 (four fatalities, 43 recovered).

• Areas of concern: Densely populated areas, notably Damascus/Rural Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, and those living in camps and informal settlements in NES, collective shelters throughout the country, as well as other areas including Deir-Ez-Zor, and where hostilities may be ongoing making sample collection more challenging.

• Populations of concern: All groups are susceptible to the virus. However, the elderly (those 60 years and above) and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk; as are vulnerable refugee and IDP populations and healthcare workers with inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

• As of 26 May, approximately 4,880 COVID-19 tests have been performed in laboratories in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Lattakia governorates. The enhancement of laboratory and case investigation capacity across Syria remains a priority, as does the timely communication of all information relevant to the safeguarding of public health.

• Socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, notably in food security and livelihoods, are likely to exacerbate existing substantial humanitarian needs across the country.


The global situation remains highly fluid. However, at the time of writing, 5,796,257 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID19, including 362,484 deaths (CFR=6.3 per cent) had been reported globally. The United States has the most confirmed cases (1,675,258) and the most deaths to date (98,889). In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, more than 485,292 COVID19 cases have been reported, including 11,963 deaths, around 64 per cent of which occurred in Iran.

In Syria, 122 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported by the MoH to date: one case in Dar’a; 87 in Damascus; and 34 in Rural Damascus; an increase of 74 new cases since the last report. The first positive case was announced on 22 March, with the first fatality reported on 29 March. The most recent cases were announced on 28 May, and the most recent fatality, a Syrian national repatriated from Kuwait who sadly died after admission to hospital in Damascus, was announced on 22 May. The MoH has also announced 43recoveries. Of the cases announced to date, 84 cases were imported, including Syrian nationals recently repatriated from Kuwait (47), the UAE (11), Sudan (11), and Russia (5). The MoH has further stated it has not registered any local cases since 1 May, which was a person located in Rural Damascus.

On 16 April, WHO EMRO shared information indicating a man from Al-Hasakeh City who had been admitted to Qamishli National Hospital on 27 March had sadly died on 2 April. A COVID-19 test was later reported as positive. On 29 April, authorities in NES announced they had detected two additional COVID-19 cases by testing through their own laboratory capacity. Further information available indicates that local authorities in NES have also confirmed an additional four cases – all reported to have now recovered.

As of 26 May, according to the MoH, around 4,300 tests have been conducted by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Damascus, and an additional 63 tests by the public health laboratories in Aleppo, 335 in Lattakia and 185 in Homs. It remains a priority to enhance laboratory and case investigation capacity across Syria, including training of laboratory technicians and rapid response teams (RRTs).

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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