White Helmets call for uninterrupted humanitarian aid to the millions that need it as the first Covid-19 case is confirmed in Idlib

Raed al-Saleh, head of the White Helmets said:

“The confirmation of the first Covid-19 case in Idlib requires the highest level of alert from the area’s 3.5 million residents and an immediate response from the international community and UN agencies. Northwest Syria is one of the most densely populated areas in the country due to forced mass displacement and its medical infrastructure has been significantly weakened due to attacks by the Syrian regime and Russia. 

“Our volunteers have been spreading awareness about precautionary and safety measures among civilians across northwest Syria. We are now working with medical personnel to impose a lockdown on the hospital where the patient was working and quarantine everyone who has been in contact with him. Additionally, our teams will ensure all locations where the case was detected are sterilized and continue to work with the emergency task force that includes health directorates and medical organizations to prevent the virus from spreading. 

“Today’s news comes at a time when Russia and China are seeking to block humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in northwest Syria by insisting on the closure of Bab al-Salame, one of the two border crossings through which aid is delivered. Members of the Security Council must ensure all channels remain open so that food, water, and health supplies can reach civilians during a global pandemic. We urge the international community to bolster its support for health and humanitarian workers in northwest Syria during this challenging time.”  


The first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Idlib today, July 9. Medical and humanitarian organizations are calling on civilians in the densely populated province to take all the precautionary measures possible to stay safe.

The patient is a physician who works at Bab al-Hawa hospital near the Syrian-Turkish borders. He resides in Gaziantep, Turkey but came to work in Syria two weeks ago.

Medical teams and theWhite Helmets (Syria Civil Defence) are working to ensure everyone who’s come in contact with the patient is quarantined and tested.

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