A doctor working in a government hospital in Syria has issued a warning about a disaster awaiting the country as a result of the coronavirus, even if there are a low number of cases compared with other countries. The doctor called for people to act responsibly and for everyone to remain at home, and described the health sector in Syria as “exhausted.”
The doctor, Hassan Hamdan, said in a Facebook post that, “in a country like Syria, there will be a health disaster if the epidemic spreads because the health sector will be a crisis if only 100 cases appear in each hospital, or even fewer.”
Hamdan, who is an ear, nose and throat surgery specialist, said that during his work at the Tishreen Military Hospital, which has the country’s largest intensive care unit in Syria, it was always full. He asked how the situation would be if 50 cases arrived in one batch? “Simply put, the doctor will ask you who you want to save—your mother, your father, your grandfather or your child? Because there won’t be capacity to save them all … there is no capability or room.”
Hamdan advised Syrians, “Be responsible and stay at home and don’t participate in spreading the virus, because it could enter your family if you leave the house and mix with people—this isn’t a joke.”
With regards to the deteriorating medical situation, the Snack Syria website on Wednesday published images from a quarantine center in the al-Duwair area in the Damascus countryside, which should be a place for patients and those suspected of having the virus. The pictures showed the “extremely bad” conditions. The official statements said that the center contained 134 people who were quarantined after arriving in Syria through the Damascus International Airport.
So far, the Assad regime has not announced any cases of the virus, despite announcing that some cases were suspected but tests showed were negative. Local and international media reports have quoted medical sources and witnesses as saying there were hundreds of cases in Damascus, which the regime insisted on denying in an attempt to repress any details related to them, even if through their liquidation, whereby the liquidation process is carried out in full secrecy by specialized doctors following up on suspected coronavirus cases.
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.