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Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response Update No. 11 - 7 October 2020

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Situation Report
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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 30 October 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • As of 6 October, the Syrian Ministry of Health (MoH) reported 4,457 laboratory-confirmed cases, 209 fatalities, and 1,183 recoveries in Government of Syria (GoS)-controlled areas.

  • 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, where hostilities may be ongoing making sample collection more challenging.

  • In northeast Syria (NES), the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, with 1,998 cases confirmed as of 6 October, including 503 recoveries and 71 deaths.

  • In northwest Syria (NWS), as of 1 October 1,072 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported, including six deaths.
    There is a funding gap of nearly US$11 million until the end of the year for the COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts, with an urgent need to fill gaps in expanding testing, strengthening surveillance, and furthering IPC materials.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

In GoS-controlled areas of the country, 4,457 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported by the Syrian MoH as of 6 October: seven in Ar-Raqqa; 13 in Deir-Ez-Zor; 35 in Al-Hasakeh; 81 in Quneitra; 100 in Dar’a; 131 in Tartous; 144 in Hama; 154 in As-Sweida; 396 in Homs; 424 in Rural Damascus; 431 in Lattakia; 1,077 in Aleppo; and 1,464 in Damascus. More than 500 new cases have been announced since the last report.

Further underscoring the particular risk to healthcare workers (HCWs), as of 30 September, 143 HCWs have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes 59 in Damascus, 30 in Lattakia, 14 in Rural Damascus, nine in Aleppo, seven in Hama, six each in Quneitra, Tartous and Dar’a, three in Al-Hasakeh, two in As-Sweida, and one in Homs. To date, 11 HCWs have reportedly died; the most recent being on 3 September.

The steady increase in affected HCWs since July underscores – given Syria’s fragile healthcare system with already insufficient numbers of qualified healthcare personnel – the potential for its overstretched healthcare capacity to be further compromised.

Humanitarian actors continue to receive reports that HCWs in some areas do not have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE). The WHO continues to lead efforts to support increased distribution of PPE where needed to ensure the protection of HCWs.

While current official numbers remain relatively low, it is clear the epidemiological situation in Syria continues to rapidly evolve and all factors – including that more than 92 per cent of announced cases to date have not been linked to exposure/contact with a known case – point to widespread community transmission. Since July, official numbers have risen sharply; including a peak of over 1,600 confirmed cases (around half the current total) in August.

In NES (as of 6 October) 1,998 reported cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. Of these, there were 1,424 active cases, 503 recovered cases and 71 deaths.

While the majority of newly confirmed cases has been concentrated in Al-Hasakeh, with 423 newly confirmed cases in the past two weeks (a 53 per cent increase) (as of 30 September), the upward trend of increased transmission in other areas

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