In light of the global crisis the entire world is going through with regard to the Coronavirus, the Syrian British Council (SBC) is gravely concerned that the Syrians in the different territories in Syria are at a higher risk and severe vulnerability to the spread of the COVID-19. This is because of the extreme weak and stretched health systems, the mass displacement, and the destruction of basic infrastructure including shelter, water and sanitation.
SBC observes the necessity of assisting the health systems in Syria in the different areas of control, not only to protect Syrians but also to contain the spread of the virus in the region and the globe. SBC requests taking the necessary measures to prevent and slow down the spread of the virus in Syria. This cannot be done without channelling international support through the humanitarian system. Medical supplies including Personal Protective Equipment, medications and testing kits should be provided to the various health systems operating inside Syria. However, this should be closely monitored to ensure the use of these resources to help civilians rather than being abused by the military and political powers. This is very crucial in the regime held areas considering the track record of the Syrian regime manipulation and abuse of humanitarian assistance.
SBC wishes further to highlight the situation of detainees and displaced persons under the current circumstances. ‘’There are thousands of detainees who are held in Assad's prisons in very poor health conditions for many years of detention which may put them at a higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.’’ SBC Chairman, DR. Haytham Alhamwi said. SBC requests an immediate intervention from the international community to provide the necessary treatment to the detainees and forcibly displaced people who do not possess anything of the basic necessities of life to confront the virus.