There can no longer be any doubt -- #COVID19 has become a national crisis in #Syria.

- Cases are spiraling out of control in #Assad-held areas, but testing is far insufficient to confirm scale/scope.

- Active cases are now spreading in NW & NE, with little healthcare capacity.
The #Assad regime's instinctual securitization of the #COVID19 response - mukhabarat controlling hospitals & doctors etc. - has instilled fear, deterring many infected civilians from seeking state medical help.

Entire families (& some communities) are rapidly cross-infecting.
At the same time, #Syria's economic crisis (not sanctions) & inflation is forcing prolonged periods of social contact, as lines lengthen for limited, costly food & basic supplies.

As the SYP devalues, access to healthcare & medicines is declining - worsening the #COVID19 crisis.
In the NE, #Russia's shuttering (in the @UN) of cross-border aid access from #Iraq has severely curtailed healthcare capacity & the wider humanitarian situation.

Plus, all #COVID19 testing is run by @WHOSyria & its #Damascus HQ -- itself managed/constrained by the regime.
In the NW (i.e. #Idlib), #COVID19 arrived in recent weeks via several Syrian doctors & a dentist entering from #Turkey.

For days, they treated 100s of patients - PPE likely limited the infection rate, but some relatives have been infected & cases are rising (w. minimal testing).
The high population density in #Idlib is of particular concern, along with the dire humanitarian situation & widespread destruction of critical infrastructure, including the healthcare sector.

If/once #COVID19 enters an IDP camp, there'll be little to stop it spreading.
You can follow @Charles_Lister.
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