Palestinian refugees in Syria. Photo via: Social Media
A London-based human rights monitor has urged the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the General Authority for Palestinian Arab Refugees (GAPAR) along with the Syrian Health Ministry to provide the Palestinian refugee community in the war-torn country with hygiene kit and relief items in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) stressed in a Monday statement the need to supply Palestinian refugee camps with medicines, detergents, and disinfectants in order to help the displaced communities defend themselves against the deadly COVID-19 virus.
AGPS expressed deep concern that the lack of transparency maintained by the Syrian government regarding the pandemic will result in a catastrophic situation in displacement camps, at a time when the deadly virus continues to claim the lives of thousands of people across the globe.
AGPS said it fears coronavirus could spread quickly in jails and in overcrowded displacement camps, where neither hygiene kit nor medical equipment are accessible.
Over recent weeks, AGPS has warned of a projected outbreak of COVID-19 in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. 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.