JUST IN: Assad and his wife test positive for coronavirus


Published: 2021-03-08 14:19

Last Updated: 2024-06-22 00:23

Source: Al Jazeera
Source: Al Jazeera

According to a statement issued by the Syrian presidency Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma, have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The presidency stated that al-Assad, 55, and his wife, 45, underwent a virus detection test, "after feeling mild symptoms."

The statement said, "They will continue their work during their home quarantine period, which will last for two or three weeks."

At the end of last month, Damascus began vaccinating medical personnel working on the front lines to confront the pandemic, after receiving 5,000 doses as a gift from a "friendly country," according to what Health Minister Hassan al-Ghobash announced.

In January, the Syrian government signed an agreement to join the COVAX initiative through the World Health Organization. Also, the Syrian embassy in Moscow announced last month that Syria had authorized the use of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine on its soil. No party has announced the date of arrival of the vaccines in Damascus yet.

The COVAX platform seeks to secure vaccines for at least 20 percent of Syrians until the end of this year.

Since the start of the outbreak, the government has counted 15,981 cases in its control areas, including 1,063 deaths, while the Kurdish Autonomous Administration in the northeast of the country has detected about 8,689 cases, including 368 deaths. The areas controlled by the factions in Idlib and its environs (northwest), where hundreds of overcrowded camps are spread, recorded 21,209 cases, including 623 deaths.

In recent days, the Ministry of Health repeated its warning of a new wave of infections in the country, calling on citizens to adhere to the necessary preventive instructions.

The ministry stated at the beginning of this month that it had "observed an increase in the trend of Corona cases in the recent period and an increase in suspected cases that are reviewing hospitals, which calls for strictness in following preventive measures and not tolerating them at all, especially since the countries of the world are facing new mutated strains of the Corona virus and Syria will not be immune."

When the outbreak began, Damascus imposed tight restrictions, which it quickly abandoned under the weight of the stifling living crisis, which is accompanied by a record deterioration in the exchange rate of the lira against the dollar.

Markets, streets and public transport are witnessing almost normal movement, without any application of preventive measures, especially wearing masks and social distancing.