Woman walking in the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos island, Greece on November 29, 2019 | Photo: Imago
Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Syria, Atef Ibrahim, said the organization has opted for emergency measures in order to help Palestinian refugees across Syria fight coronavirus.
Speaking during a meeting with the political department’s chief of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Anwar Abdul Hadi, the Red Crescent director said clinics run by the international humanitarian organization have been supplied with medical equipment and sterilizers that are sufficient for one month.
Awareness-raising courses have also been held and leaflets distributed as part of ongoing efforts to respond to COVID-19, said Ibrahim.
Ibrahim added that free medical checks and healthcare assistance have been provided at Palestinian Red Crescent offices in Khan Dannun, Latakia, Hama, Yalda, and Yarmouk Camp along with the organization’s Bisan and Yafa clinics, in Hums and Damascus.
Over recent weeks, human rights monitors have warned that an outbreak of COVID-19 in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria could turn catastrophic. Though campaigns to help spread awareness among the camps’ residents have recently seen the day, limited access to running water, pharmacies and medical facilities means displacement camps are more susceptible to the spread of the highly infectious virus.
Displacement camps set up in northern Syria are especially vulnerable as most hospitals and medical facilities have been bombed, rendering them out of order.
The Syrian government has reported only 25 cases of confirmed COVID-19 tests and two deaths from the virus.
Earlier, the government shut down schools, parks, restaurants and various public institutions, and called off army conscription.
Syria's healthcare system, among other infrastructure, has been ravaged by nine years of war.