UAE newspaper: AA in NE, Syria alone faces Covid-19

UAE Newspaper, The National said that the administration in the regions of northern and eastern Syria alone is facing the Corona pandemic, and indicated that the Damascus government does not provide it with assistance, and said that the World Health Organization provided assistance to the government of Damascus, as well as Idlib, and left this region without assistance as well.

"With the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Syria, strained relations with the government and restrictions on aid to northern and eastern Syria have made the Kurdish-led administration isolated and facing alone the Corona pandemic that has killed more than 68,000 people," the newspaper said.

The World Health Organization has double standards for aid in the face of Corona

"The WHO started testing the coronavirus in the war-torn Idlib region in northwestern Syria, and handed over 1,200 test groups to the government in Damascus, but it left the north and east of Syria without access to test equipment, protection, or international assistance."

"The Syrian government does not cooperate with us at all," the newspaper quoted the co-chair of the Health Body in Al-Jazeera region, Rapren Hassan.

She also said: "The government does not allow us to know the amount of test kits they got and they will not send us anything they receive."

The Syrian government has reported a very limited number of confirmed infections with the Coronavirus, which are much lower than in other countries in the region.

Observers say the low number indicates a lack of transparency in Damascus, while the United Nations called it "the tip of the iceberg."

Rapren Hassan said she hoped to help Damascus if the coronavirus spread in the northeastern regions of Syria, but the administration believes that it is unlikely that this will happen because the Syrian government has not even helped them in the fight against ISIS.

While Neama Saeed, the Acting Representative of the World Health Organization in Syria, said that the United Nations agency does not see any problem in the participation of Damascus test groups with northern and eastern Syria.

"The two parties know very well that the virus does not respect the lines of control," Dr. Neama Saeed told the National newspaper.

The newspaper pointed out that the most advanced test center in the region, located in the city of Ras al-Ain, is no longer operational after being bombed by the Turkish occupation during its attacks in October of last year, and said that even if the administration in northern and eastern Syria obtained test groups, the samples should be sent to the Central Health Laboratory in Damascus, which may take more than a week to return the results.

Dr. Neama Saeed said that the WHO "strongly advocates" expanding tests across the country, but has not been able to set a timetable, saying it depends on "equipment on the market".

NE, Syria lacks well-equipped medical facilities, and the Health Body of Al-Jazeera region said that only 27 ventilation devices are available for a population of about five million.

"What we need most are protective equipment, respirators, and training," said Rapren Hassan. "We are looking for help from the World Health Organization to train people to deal with coronaviruses and help find places for quarantine."

Medical assistance to the area was severely affected by the closure of al-Yaarubiyah border crossing from Iraq in January.

The Security Council approved the move under pressure from the ally of the Syrian government, "Russia", which threatened to use its veto power against extending any aid across the border.

Al-Yaarubiyah crossing was the only crossing for direct delivery of humanitarian assistance to northern and eastern Syria.

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said north and east Syria was facing a "significant shortage" of medical supplies since the crossing was closed.

Mark told the Security Council on March 30 that "many medical facilities and individuals in northern and eastern Syria who relied on medical supplies via al-Yaarubiyah did not receive these supplies through alternative channels."

In addition to the administration's concerns, there is the sprawling al-Hol refugee camp, with more than 70,000 women and children, including at least 5,000 foreigners, who left ISIS's last stronghold in al-Baghuz in March last year.

The administration prevented visitors from the crowded camp, and installed body temperature monitors at the entrance to prevent people with potential coronavirus infection from contacting the population.

NGOs have been asked to reduce the number of camp workers to a minimum.

Haval Mahmoud, the co-chair of the Internal Affairs Body, said he was about to establish quarantine areas inside the camp, but he was concerned about managing the outbreak without direct support from the World Health Organization.



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