Exclusive sources revealed to Sowt Al-Asima that two days ago there were discussions between the Syrian regime and the government team tasked with limiting the spread of coronavirus. The discussion revolved around the return of a partial lockdown in all governorates under regime control, especially Rural Damascus, where more than 70 cases had been recorded since the start of June.
The regime’s Health Ministry announced on Jun. 21, 2020, that six cases of coronavirus had been recorded in the town of Jdeidat Artouz, raising the number of recorded cases there to 26 after 11 were recorded on Jun. 20, 2020.
In a statement published to its Facebook page, the Health Ministry said that the new cases had been traced to coronavirus cases in the town of Jdeidat Artouz, raising the official number of recorded cases in Syria to 204.
Sources said that the government team had proposed a complete lockdown in all governorates. They then suggested a partial lockdown after the first proposal was rejected by most ministries. The team had reportedly justified its proposal with the increased number of coronavirus cases, and that it aimed to control the outbreak before it grew.
The sources confirmed that the Minister of Local Administration and Environment had proposed enforcing a total lockdown for a number of days, provided that the government team assist the Interior and Health Ministries in controlling the new cases.
According to the sources, the ministers of Education and Higher Education were among the first to oppose the partial and total lockdown decisions due to the approaching exams, which began on Jun. 21, 2020, noting that they had completed all the preparations for the exams.
The government team is also talking with the regime about imposing a requirement to wear masks in public, as well as fines for detractors, especially shop owners and public transportation drivers, the sources said.
The option to reimpose a partial or total lockdown in Syria comes after the number of coronavirus cases rose, bringing the official total number of cases to 204, after 26 new cases were recorded in Jdeidat Artouz in Rural Damascus.
On Saturday, the Health Ministry issued a decree imposing a total lockdown on Jdeidat Artouz, two days after it decided to suspend prayer in mosques and closed wedding halls and clubs in the town. The town then followed up with a decree to completely close mosques, wedding halls, sports clubs and parks until further notice. It also put in place a program for opening businesses from 6am until 7pm, with the exception of pharmacies.
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.