The total positive cases of Covid-19 recorded across Syria rose to 41,521 over the past week, up from 40,369 last week. The government took no new containment measures, even as neighbouring Lebanon implemented a strict lockdown.
The cases included 18,873 active cases, 21,135 recoveries, and 1,513 fatalities. Of these, 12,552 cases were in areas under government control, 8,252 cases in northeastern Syria, and 20,717 in the northwestern parts of the country controlled by Islamist and opposition forces.
The Syrian government imposed no new measures, in contrast to Lebanon which imposed a full lockdown until January 25. The lockdown, however, exempted Syrians traveling through Beirut International Airport, who were given three hours to reach the Syrian border – or the airport if they were traveling the other direction.
The 12,552 cases in government areas were up from 11,799 last week and included 5,583 active cases, 6,098 recoveries, and 871 fatalities.
The Ministry of Health said this week that the number of positive cases was relatively stable, but stressed that this was still a function of the low number of tests conducted, meaning the numbers do not reflect the true number of positive cases.
The Ministry of Tourism also circulated a statement re-emphasising its earlier moves to ban shisha water pipes in restaurants, cafes, and other facilities. It also stressed other earlier measures including that restaurants, fast food shops, and cafes should not operate with more than 50 percent capacity, while conferences and event halls should not operate with more than 40 percent capacity.
The chairman of Syria’s doctors union told local media earlier this month that about 100 doctors had died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, an opposition NGO estimated that more than 170 doctors had died in government areas because of the pandemic.
Positive cases in the northeastern parts of the country controlled by the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES) reached 8,252, up from 8,113 a week earlier, including 6,805 active cases, 1,163 recoveries, and 284 fatalities. A report by the United Nations OCHA office in Syria last week said these areas were experiencing shortages of oxygen and water, hindering healthcare.
Positive cases in northwestern areas controlled by the Syrian Salvation Government – backed by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham – and the Turkish-backed Syrian Interim Government reached 20,717, up from 20,457 last week. They included 6,485 positive cases, 13,874 recoveries, and 358 fatalities.