Syria

Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response Update No. 03 - 13 May 2020

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47total confirmed cases
15 Active cases 29 Recovered
3 Deaths
Source: Syrian Ministry of Health (MoH) *MoH data does not include areas outside of GoS control

This report is produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in collaboration with humanitarian partners. The next report will be issued on or around 18 May 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Syrian Ministry of Health (MoH) confirmed 47 people with COVID-19, including three people who died and 29 who recovered, as of 10 May.

• As of 10 May, six people with COVID-19 were reported in north-east Syria (NES), including one death. Lack of a common reporting approach creates challenges in verifying/triangulating information on reported/suspected cases.

• In north-west Syria (NWS), no laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported as of 10 May.

• COVID-19 testing has now commenced at laboratories in Aleppo and Lattakia governorates.

• Areas of concern: Densely populated areas, notably Damascus/Rural Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, and those living in camps and informal settlements in NES and NWS, as well as collective shelters throughout the country

• As of 11 May, WHO managed to deliver a 30-ton medical shipment by road to Al Qamishli in NES as a part of its response to the emergency health needs, including COVID-19, The delivered supplies contained ICU beds, ventilators, X-Rays machines and other vital medical equipment needed for case management

• The enhancement of laboratory and case investigation capacity across Syria, including training of laboratory technicians and rapid response teams (RRTs) remains a priority, as does the timely communication of all information relevant to the safeguarding of public health.

• Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO has expanded laboratory capacities to Homs, Aleppo and Latakia.

• Preparedness and response efforts continue in NWS, with a focus on intensifying strategic communication/ community engagement efforts to make people aware on patient streaming pathways/COVID-19 service delivery points via community-based isolation centers and COVID-19 hospitals.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

To date, the Syrian Ministry of Health (MoH) has confirmed 47 people with COVID-19 across Syria, including one case in Dar’a, 12 in Damascus, and 34 in Rural Damascus. The most recent case was announced on 8 May. The first positive case was announced on 22 March, with the first fatality reported on 29 March, and subsequent fatalities reported on 30 March and 19 April respectively. The MoH announced the most recent case on 1 May. To date, some 29 recoveries have been reported.

As of 8 May, some 2,700 tests have been conducted by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Damascus. Of the three fatalities in Government of Syria (GoS)-controlled areas, two were in Damascus and one in Rural Damascus.

As of 7 May, there have been six reported cases in NES, including one death, two active cases and three recovered cases. These cases are all reportedly from the same cluster in Hasakeh city. On 16 April, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) shared information indicating that a 53-year-old man from Al-Hasakeh City who had been admitted to Qamishli National Hospital on 27 March had died on 2 April. A test for the virus subsequently tested positive. On 29 April, authorities in NES announced they had detected two further cases – a man and a woman – tested positive in Qamishli after reportedly coming in contact with the first individual after testing them through their own laboratory capacity – located in Qamishli with polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Further information available at the time of writing indicates that local authorities in NES have also confirmed an additional three cases through antibody - not PCR testing - who have since recovered.

As of 11 May, 563 samples have been collected from Aleppo and Idleb governorates through the Early Warning, Alert and Response Network (EWARN) system, and tested in a laboratory in Idelb. Of these, all tested negative. WHO and cluster partners will establish two additional labs in NWS, as well as continue to increase capacity at Idleb laboratory, in order to expand overall testing in NWS.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.