Beqaa Valley, Lebanon, where Palestine refugees displaced from Syria often live in same encampments as Syrian refugees. © 2013 UNRWA Photo by Mahmoud Khair
A state of panic has overwhelmed the Palestinian refugee community taking shelter in war-torn Syria following reports of increased coronavirus cases in and around Damascus.
State-run media outlets in Syria said Health Minister Nizar Yazaji ordered the closure of wedding halls to help curtail COVID-19 contaminations after a number of Syrian nationals have tested positive for the lethal virus.
Palestinian refugees have urged UNRWA to implement an efficient mechanism in order to prevent an unabated coronavirus outbreak in refugee camps and shelters.
Activists continues to urge UNRWA and the Syrian Health Ministry to provide the Palestinian refugee community in the war-ravaged country with hygiene kit and relief items in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Rights groups also stressed 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.
Activists have been deeply concerned 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.
Displacement camps set up in northern Syria are especially vulnerable as most hospitals and medical facilities have been bombed, rendering them out of order.
At the same time, activists in Khan Eshieh refugee camp have called for urgent action following reports of confirmed coronavirus cases among the camp residents.
A number of residents who contracted the virus have refused to reveal their names over bullying concerns.