Assad warns of a catastrophe that exceeds the capabilities of Syria in the event of sudden Coronavirus outbreak

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad warned on Monday of a “real catastrophe” beyond his country’s capabilities in the event of a sudden and dramatic rise in the epidemics of Covid-19, while his government started easing the closure measures taken weeks ago to reduce further economic repercussions.

Assad said in a speech during a meeting with the governmental group concerned with confronting the emerging Coronavirus and transmitted by the presidential accounts that the few infected numbers “never mean that we are out of danger, and the humility of the numbers does not mean that these limited numbers do not explode suddenly within days and maybe a few weeks to see ourselves in front of a real disaster that exceeds the health and logistical capabilities in Syria”.

Government control areas recorded 44 cases, including three deaths, while the Kurdish Self-Administration in the northeast of the country announced three cases.

With the continued imposition of a night curfew and a ban on movement between governorates, the Syrian government has gradually begun to reduce isolation measures.

Last week, it reopened the markets during the day, and began developing a plan to reopen universities.

Assad stressed that the easing of measures should be linked to controls to limit the spread of the epidemic.

Assad said, “I think we are now in the transition phase to return to openness… however, the essence of this openness is controlled openness,” adding, “When we return to open these areas, we must define for the citizens what are the controls for returning to this field”.

The measures, which were taken rapidly with the first cases of the virus being recorded, had a major impact on the country’s economy, which essentially depleted all its sectors of more than nine years of war.

Assad considered that, “in parallel with the health challenge, the other challenge that emerged from corona and pre-Coronavirus is the economic challenge and specifically the challenge of revitalizing the economy”.

He said that “nine years of war is equivalent to only a few of the past few weeks,” noting that the closing procedures put “the citizen in general in the various classes between two situations: hunger, poverty and destitution in exchange for disease”.

The war in Syria has killed more than 380,000 people, and led to the displacement and displacement of more than half of the population inside and outside the country.

The infrastructure was destroyed, the economy depleted and the various sectors, including the health sector, were exhausted.

Health facilities have been severely damaged.

According to the World Health Organization, about sixty percent of hospitals remained in service at the end of last year, while about seventy percent of health workers left the country.

Since 2019, economic crises have followed, with the lira recording a record low against the dollar and an acute fuel crisis in government-controlled areas.

Food prices have increased by 107 percent in just one year, according to the World Food Program, at a time when the largest group of Syrians is under the poverty line.