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 1 May 2020.
• Number of people confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to have COVID-19: 42 (including three fatalities, six 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).
• 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. The UN has pledged its support to assist the MoH achieve its stated goal to have testing capacity in all 14 governorates.
The global situation remains highly fluid. However, at the time of writing, 2,626,331 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID- 19, including 181,938 deaths (CFR=6.9 per cent) had been reported globally. The United States has the most confirmed cases globally (830,053) and the most deaths to date (42,311). In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, more than 153,849 COVID-19 cases have been reported, including 6,724 deaths, around 83 per cent of which occurred in Iran.
In Syria, 42 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported by authorities to date; on 21 April the Minister of Health stated that all positive cases announced to date had been from Damascus and Rural Damascus governorates. The first positive case was announced on 22 March, with the first fatality reported on 29 March, with subsequent fatalities reported on 30 March and 19 April. The most recent cases were announced by the MoH on 21 April. The MoH has also announced six recoveries to date. To date, data received from the MoH on 38 of the 42 announced cases shows that 55 per cent were men and 45 per cent women.
On 16 April, WHO 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 sadly died on 2 April. A COVID-19 test for the patient was reported as having subsequently tested positive; another family member is currently reportedly also in hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 with test results pending. Active surveillance is ongoing in northeast Syria to detect additional potential cases.
As of 22 April, according to the MoH, around 1,500 tests have been conducted by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Damascus, including 24 from Al-Hasakeh, 22 from Deir-Ez-Zor and two from Ar-Raqqa governorates. 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
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.