Members of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) disinfect buildings and tents where Palestinian and Syrian families live collectively in Idlib, Syria on 24 March 2020. (Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency)
12 Palestinians from Syria have succumbed to the novel coronavirus so far, according to human rights data.
On March 29, Palestinian refugee from Syria Hasan Tershahani, aged 72, succumbed to the disease in the Netherlands.
Palestinian refugee Ibrahim AlKhatib died of coronavirus in Sweden.
A few days earlier, regional director of UNRWA’s Health Program in Syria, Tayseer Sabagh, succumbed to COVID-19 in Damascus. He was pronounced dead at Kindi Hospital. The funeral procession was held at AlKabon cemetery in Damascus.
The Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) also mourned the death of Mohamed Tareq AlKhadraa, PLA’s chief of staff, at the age of 89. AlKhadraa died of coronavirus which he contracted in Damascus, where he will also be buried. He breathed his last at Tishreen military hospital.
At the same time, PLA’s brigadier general Mohamed Shahada Othman succumbed to coronavirus in Damascus.
Physics professor Sa'id Salah Hadid has died of coronavirus after he was denied admission into Turkish hospitals.
Palestinian refugee Mohamed Kheir Mousa Diab has died of coronavirus in Khan Eshieh camp, in Rif Dimashq, in Syria.
Lately, lawyer Mahmoud AlDabsi, a resident of Qudsaya, in Rif Dimashq, died of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, hundreds of refugees have contracted the virus in Syria, Europe, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Recently, concerns have mounted over a striking increase in coronavirus cases in and around Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, where the number of confirmed infections has already soared.
Medics sounded distress signals over the acute shortage in staff and equipment along with fuel needed to operate power generators at hospitals. The number of infections is estimated to get at least three times higher.
The Health Ministry’s coronavirus team said wearing face masks and respecting social distancing has become an obligation at commercial centers and public facilities. Those who violate such orders will have to pay a fine of 8,000 Syrian pounds.
Over recent months, AGPS has also 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 mean 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.