Dr. Tawfiq Hassa, Director of Readiness, Ambulance, and Emergency at the Ministry of Health confirmed that there were 278 recorded COVID-19 cases yesterday. However, that number does not reflect the current reality of the COVID-19 situation in Syria. He pointed out that this figure only reflects the results of those tested in the Ministry of Health or university hospitals.
In a statement to reporters, the official indicated that one of the reasons for the surge in the detected and recorded infections –compared to previous waves– is due to the improvement of laboratory and diagnostic capacity and their availability in most governorates. Another factor is the activation of PCR testing in the laboratory of the General Authority of Damascus Hospital, in addition to the increase in the number of laboratory devices and materials (kits) in all governorates. These reasons enhanced the ability to detect COVID-19 infections, which were hidden and not announced.
Dr. Hassaba explained that the high cost of treatment in homes or in private hospitals pushed many people to resort to public hospitals instead. At home, the cost of the oxygen tank with the necessary patient check-ups cost, is about 15 to 20 Syrian pounds, while the cost of a bed in a private hospital during the current COVID-19 wave varies between 1 million and 1.5 million Syrian pounds — without including the price of medicines and the oxygen tanks. This figure previously ranged from 200 to 300,000 Syrian pounds.
Dr. Hassaba pointed out that the ministry has increased the number of hospitals receiving COVID-19 cases, as well as the number of beds and capacity. He pointed out that in Damascus hospital the division of oral, otological, and orthopedic conditions was harnessed to serve pandemic patients and increased the number of beds from 35 to 75 beds. In addition, the ministry has allocated one-third of beds in the National Hospital of Lattakia for COVID-19 patients, raising the hospital’s capacity from 35 to 78 beds, out of a total of 200 beds.
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.