Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Update No. 08 - 2 May 2020


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 8 May 2020.


• Number of people confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to have COVID-19: 44 (three fatalities, 27 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).

• On 25 April, COVID-19 testing commenced at the Tishreen University Hospital laboratory in Lattakia governorate.

• On 28 April, the first repatriation flight of Syrian nationals abroad landed in Damascus from Armenia. Approximately 10,000 other Syrian nationals have registered for other repatriation flights. The MoH has requested assistance to expand quarantine capacity to accommodate returning nationals for a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

• 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, 3,181,642 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID19, including 224,301 deaths (CFR=7 per cent) had been reported globally. The United States has the most confirmed cases (1,035,353) and the most deaths to date (55,337). In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, more than 193,942 COVID19 cases have been reported, including 7,716 deaths, around 79 per cent of which occurred in Iran.
In Syria, 44 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported by the MoH to date, with one case in Dar’a Governorate, 12 in Damascus, and 30 in Rural Damascus. 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. The most recent case was announced by the MoH on 1 May. The MoH has also announced 27 recoveries to date. Data available indicates 22 of the cases are male and 21 female; with three cases aged between 0-9 years; two aged 10-19 years; three aged 20-29; nine aged 30-39; three aged 40-49 years, 11 aged 50-59 years; ten aged 60-69 years and two aged 70-79 years.

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. On 30 April, authorities in NES announced that they had detected two additional positive COVID-19 cases by testing through their own laboratory capacity. The authorities further stated the two cases were a woman at Qamishli National Hospital and her husband, who was currently at their home in Al-Hasakeh City.

As of 29 April, according to the MoH, around 2,000 tests have been conducted by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Damascus. It remains a priority to enhance laboratory and case investigation capacity across Syria, including training of laboratory technicians and rapid response teams (RRTs).


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