AMMAN — In Syria, reality seemed to finally set in when the government announced all schools and universities would be closed for two weeks, starting on March 14, to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
Stores in Damascus were immediately swarmed by shoppers looking to stockpile foods and other essentials, and in scenes reminiscent of western countries the week before, shelves were stripped bare.
Shoppers crowd supermarkets following the announcement that schools would be closed for two weeks, 13/03/2020 (Facebook)
Though the government has yet to confirm any cases of Coronavirus within its borders—even as non-governmental sources confirm there are cases within the government-controlled territory—a series of measures announced indicated that Damascus was beginning to take the pandemic-level threat seriously.
Likewise, opposition-led authorities in northwest Syria and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA) announced a steps aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus.
In the northwest, authorities are collaborating with the World Health Organization and the Turkish government to implement testing and other measures, though the three million residents of northwest Syria, including one million newly displaced people, are expected to quickly outstrip any capacity for testing.
As for the AA in the northeast, it still does not have the ability to test for Coronavirus without sending samples to Damascus, seriously delaying the diagnosis process.
The below infographic details the various measures being taken by the three parties controlling Syria to contain the spread of Coronavirus within the country.