Idlib cannot be left alone to deal with Covid-19 - The national
It was always a matter of time. Late last week, the first coronavirus case was discovered in Idlib, a province in Syria bordering Turkey where hundreds of thousands are living in crowded refugee camps after fleeing war. Without urgent measures to contain any potential outbreak, it could spell disaster for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
News of the first infection emerged last Thursday, and by Tuesday the number of confirmed cases had risen to four, including two in Idlib and two in opposition areas in rural Aleppo. All, according to the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), are healthcare workers, which means it is likely that they were in contact with patients who visited their clinics or hospitals. They are all currently in isolation and contact tracing is under way to see who else may be infected.
Aid workers have long warned of the dangers of an outbreak in a place like Idlib and the devastating effects it could have. To understand the risks, we need to take a step back and examine the situation as a whole.