Damascus, SANA_ There is no confirmed infection with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Syria until today, Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi has said.
In a press conference held on Saturday with the Resident Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Syria Dr. Neama Saeed, Minister Yazigi, added that all samples analyzed in public health laboratories for suspected cases of the virus were negative.
The government’s measures and raising the health sector’s readiness are preventive and precautionary measures to control the spread of infection if any infection is recorded, he clarified.
The Minister Yazigi, pointed out that the measures taken at the border crossings, sea and land outlets and airports to ensure the safety of those coming to Syria and to transfer suspected cases to the quarantine centers, revealing the transfer of 16 Syrians passengers coming from Iraq and the crew of the plane to the quarantine center in al-Duwair area of Damascus countryside.
The Minister of Health reaffirmed the readiness of the epidemiological investigation teams deployed across the country and 1864 health centers to monitor any suspected cases and send daily reports on developments.
He indicated that two centers in each governorate are equipped, one as a quarantine center and the second is to isolate cases confirmed if existed in addition to allocating two ambulances in each Governorate to transfer suspected cases and activating emergency points on the roads.
The Minister assured that all medical requirements to protect the medical staff are available.
He talked about coordination with the ministries of information, education, social affairs and labor and endowments, to spread awareness about the measures to deal with the virus and with the Ministry of Higher Education and the Scientific Research, the Department of Military and Police Medical Services and the private hospitals to raise their readiness and preparedness for any emergency.
The Minister of Health called for lifting the economic blockade imposed on Syria by the USA and a number of Western countries so that the health sector can extract all its requirements and respond to any emergency case, indicating that the countries that impose this blockade today face the spread of the Coronavirus and thus are now understanding the meaning of emergency cases.
The Resident Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Syria, Dr. Neama Saeed hailed the governmental efforts and measures taken in various sectors to address the spread of the Coronavirus, describing it as “very important” in terms of prevention and reduction of losses in a case of infections.
He confirmed that the laboratory in the Ministry of Health is able to diagnose Virus infections, in terms of supplies and medical staff experience.
The Resident Representative stressed that the enemy facing the world is not only the virus, but the rumors and fear.
“Take the information from its reliable sources and there is no reason to panic, but the concern that drives us to take measures, especially that 80 percent of COVID-19 cases are simple and only 15 percent need a hospital.
Saeed said that China proved the importance of containment measures, despite its population density, it was able to contain the disease and reduce the number of infections.
He noted that the organization trusts the countries that work with it and derives its information about the infections from the responsible official, but the responsible official is not the only source.
On the economic blockade imposed on Syria, Saeed said: “These measures that are taken against countries ultimately affect citizens, not governments, and we are constantly demanding to take steps towards excluding the social and health field from this blockade, which affects the extraction of medical equipment and medicines.”
On Friday, the government took a series of precautionary measures to protect against the virus through strict measures according to WHO recommendations.
Due to the expanding threat of Coronavirus around the world as it has become a global pandemic, the Syrian government on Friday took a number of precautionary and preventative steps to protect citizens.
The precautionary steps, included suspending universities, schools, and institutes as of 14/03/2020 to 02/04/2020, reducing in work hours at administrative public sector establishments to around 40%, suspending handprint sign-in for a month.