Anti-Coronavirus Sterilization Campaign Launched in Palestinian Refugee Schools in Syria

   Anti-Coronavirus Sterilization Campaign Launched in Palestinian Refugee Schools in Syria

Health workers in Atmeh refugee camp on the Turkey-Syria border have been briefing refugees on how to fight COVID-19 (MEE/Yousef Gharibi)


The UN Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has embarked on a sterilization campaign at its schools in Jaramana and Khan Dannun refugee camps, in Rif Dimashq.

Toilets, classrooms, and corridors were sprayed with alcohol and disinfectants.

Last week, UNRWA announced its decision to suspend classes in its schools in Syria after more people have been diagnosed with Coronavirus across the MENA region.

UNRWA is the main provider of humanitarian assistance, protection and basic services to 438,000 Palestine refugees who remain in the country, and who have been among those worst affected by the crisis. Almost 60 per cent of Palestine refugees in Syria have been displaced at least once.

At the same time, the political department of the Palestine Liberation Organization handed over detergents and disinfectants to vulnerable Palestinian families in Jaramana refugee camp.

Jaramana camp is 8km from Damascus on the road to Damascus International Airport.  The camp was established in 1948.

Before the start of the conflict in 2011, there were over 18,000 Palestine refugees living in Jaramana camp. During the Syrian crisis, the number of Palestine refugees in the camp and the surrounding area increased to 49,000 due to an influx of displaced Palestine refugees from other areas, including the camp of Yarmouk.  As a result, Jaramana has become one of the most densely populated areas of Damascus. Many Palestine refugees took refuge in Jaramana because of the low rent rates.

Last week, war-ravaged Syria announced a number of strict measures despite the government saying it has no confirmed coronavirus cases.

There are concerns that the number of infections is being withheld by the government, with some Syrian lawmakers having questioned the official reports.

The Syrian government announced a series of precautionary measures, including closing schools and universities until April 2.

Following a Cabinet meeting last Friday, the government also said it was reducing working hours in public institutions and canceling all cultural and sporting events, and all other events involving large gatherings, for the time being.

Syria also says it has taken preventive measures at all ports and border crossings. It has suspended travel with neighboring countries Iraq and Jordan, and it has halted religious tourism for a month.

Other countries across the Middle East have already taken steps to contain the pandemic, including halting flights and imposing self-quarantines.

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