The necessary precautions to ensure Syrians are protected from the arrival of the coronavirus were on the discussion table for government ministers at the cabinet session headed by Imad Khamis on Sunday.
The cabinet stressed the need to monitor the precautionary and preventive measures taken at all ports, land, sea and air crossings, to ensure that no cases of coronavirus occur on Syrian territory. It decided to suspend visits and trips to and from the neighboring countries of Iraq and Jordan by individuals and groups, including for purposes of religious tourism, for one month. It also suspended visits to countries that have declared a state of epidemic for two months, while conducting preventive quarantine for a period of 14 days for those coming from these countries to ensure their safety.
The cabinet mandated the health and information ministries to develop an integrated information plan for awareness and methods to prevent the virus. The education and higher education ministries were also tasked with coordinating with other ministries and with domestic and outside authorities to enhance prevention measures in schools and universities. It was also decided to halt official delegations related to training courses and other external activities. The cabinet stressed that all relevant authorities should strictly implement the Health Ministry’s plan to ensure the health of all arrivals from abroad and to monitor them, while the health and transportation ministries were requested to coordinate checks for transit crews and commercial transport vessels to enhance these precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry sources reiterated that the country is free of any coronavirus cases. The Director of Communicable and Chronic Diseases at the Health Ministry, Dr. Hazar Pharaoh, denied to Al-Watan that there were any confirmed cases, and said that a large number of tests had been conducted for suspected cases across Syria but that the results are all negative so far. There is a standard identification procedure for suspected cases and samples are examined, with a laboratory ready to deal with these cases.
She added, “We will announce any case, if it is confirmed, so that the citizens can help us contain the matter. We will not be silent in the event of any infections.”
In parallel with the cabinet decisions, the Syrian Football Association issued a decision to postpone all football activities and events from Mar. 10 to Apr. 15, 2020.
This delay comes in line with the decisions of the international and Asian football associations to postpone leagues in several countries, in order to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases, especially the coronavirus, which has recently spread in several countries around the world.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.