Syria: outbreak of new cases of Covid in Idleb, hospitals under pressure

Health workers take care of a patient with Covid-19 in a hospital in Idleb, September 13, 2021. AFP - OMAR HAJ KADOUR

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The province of Idleb and its surroundings, in northern Syria, have been experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19 cases since mid-August, against the backdrop of the spread of the delta variant in this region in a shortage of health services.


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Since the middle of last month, the number of cases has jumped to reach on September 6 more than 1,550 contaminations, against 50 to 100 daily cases previously.

This jump was accompanied by an increase in the number of deaths in September.

We are witnessing a violent and unexpected wave

 " of new contaminations, Houssam Karrat Mohamad, responsible for managing the pandemic in the health department in Idleb province, told AFP on Monday.

During the third week of August, "

 96% of the contaminations were from the delta variant 

," he said.

The outbreak began more than two weeks after the influx of Syrian visitors from Turkey for Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim holiday, in the second half of July.

It also affects children, a 15-bed wing in the main children's hospital in the city of Idleb is already full.

Today we see children hospitalized in Idlib hospitals with positive tests and severe symptoms.

We had the death of a 6 year old child yesterday.

The situation is catastrophic with a 100% occupancy rate of the intensive care beds, we have only 95 ventilators in all of north-western Syria ...

Dr Jubran Durbas, physician member of the Union of Syrian Relief Organizations

Nicolas falez

The six hospitals responsible for welcoming Covid-19 patients in Idleb have been full since Tuesday, lamented Houssam Karrat Mohamad.

These hospitals house " 

about 200 ordinary beds and 124 intensive care beds, in addition to 400 beds in isolation centers 

," he said, warning against an exhaustion of capacity for new cases.

Controlled by rebel and jihadist groups, the region has so far identified 53,625 Covid-19 contaminations, including 877 deaths.

This epidemic outbreak comes more than four months after the launch of the vaccination campaign in Idleb and its surroundings as part of the Covax international program aimed at guaranteeing equitable access to the vaccine in the world.

(with AFP)


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  • Syria

  • Coronavirus