Health Ministry: Everyone must cooperate and commit to prevention to limit spread of COVID-19

Damascus, SANA – The Health Ministry called on everyone to cooperate to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to apply prevention measures at work places, shops, services establishments, restaurants, etc., and to seek medical aid when experiencing symptoms of fever, coughing, and difficulty in breathing.

In a statement on Monday, read by Assistant Director of the Contagious and Terminal Diseases Department Dr. Atef al-Tawil, the Ministry urged citizens to report any suspected COVID-19 cases using the toll free number 195, asserting that early treatment curbs the spread of the diseases and accelerates recovery.

The statement went on to say that given the increase in Coronavirus cases around the world, with 138 cases having been registered in Syria in less than two weeks, the threat of contracting the virus is on the rise, making it crucial to adhere to individual prevention measures.

The Ministry called for observing prevention measures during the People’s Assembly elections campaigns and avoiding some social habits such as drinking coffee from cups used by multiple people, shaking hands, hugging, etc., in addition to stressing the need to maintain safe distances and covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing in election centers.

The Ministry also urged voters to bring their own pens to reduce the sharing of pens as much as possible.

The statement noted that despite the increased rate of infection locally, there seems to be some negligence in committing to prevention measures, particularly in markets, public transports, and shops, which exposes everyone to the threat of infection, and this is particularly dangerous for elderly people as well as people suffering from terminal illness, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, pulmonary and renal issues, and immunodeficiency.

The Ministry said that the World Health Organization (WHO) had recently stated that it’s unlikely that COVID-19 will be eliminated completely, and as it isn’t possible to suspend economic and services activity and close borders for long periods, it falls to the awareness and commitment of individuals to protect society from the virus.

So far, there have been 417 cases of Coronavirus registered in Syria, with 136 patients having recovered, while 19 have passed away. The highest rate of infection is among the 20-69 age demographic at 77%.

Hazem Sabbagh

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