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 25 July 2020.
• Number of people confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to have COVID-19: 394 (16 fatalities, 126 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 8 July, approximately 9,331 COVID-19 tests have been performed in laboratories in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Lattakia governorates.
• 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, 12,064,828 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID19, including 550,384 deaths (CFR=4.6 per cent) had been reported globally. The United States has the most confirmed cases (3,038,325) and the most deaths to date (131,884). In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, more than 1,233,872 COVID-19 cases have been reported, including 29,533 deaths, around 42 per cent of which occurred in Iran.
In Syria, 394 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported by the MoH to date: one case in Hama; one in Lattakia; two in Dar’a; three in As-Sweida; five in Homs; 11 in Aleppo; 27 in Quneitra; 107 in Rural Damascus; 208 in Damascus; and 22 cases where the location had yet to be announced. In In total, 138 new cases have been announced since the last report. The MoH has also announced 16 fatalities – an increase of seven since the last report - and 126 recoveries. Of the cases, 101 cases were announced as imported.
Of the new cases, UNRWA reported that five Palestine refugees had tested positive for COVID-19 in Damascus and Rural Damascus, including one man who sadly died on 6 July. In addition, on 7 July, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) reported one of its volunteers working in Dar’a, had tested positive for COVID-19. SARC further reported that activities in Dar’a were temporarily suspended; and testing of staff was ongoing. In addition, according to the MoH, of the announced cases, 18 are health workers, including 15 in Damascus, and one each in Aleppo, Rural Damascus, and As-Sweida.
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 through their own laboratory capacity. Further information indicates that local authorities in NES also confirmed an additional three cases, all from the same residential area, who have since recovered. Local authorities have not reported any further cases in NES since early May.
As of 8 July, the MoH report around 9,331 tests have been conducted by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Damascus and the public health laboratories in Aleppo, Lattakia and Homs, with an average of 288 tests performed per day in the reporting period. 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.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.