Due to U.S. Sanctions
DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – As the U.S. is tightening the noose around Syria by imposing new sanctions and supported armed militants, Covid-19 is "spiraling out of control” as hospitals in the country’s northwest run out of oxygen and beds for critically ill patients, a charity has warned.
Since the pandemic began, Syria has recorded at least 40,000 coronavirus cases, with more than half of reported cases in the country’s northwest, the last major stronghold for armed militants supported by foreign actors.
The pandemic has been compounded further in Idlib, with limited hospitals and medical facilities.
Amjad Yamin, from Save the Children’s Syria Response team, said he believed the overcrowded camps and lack of access to water had allowed the virus to spread faster in northwest Syria in comparison to other parts of the country.
"The reason why the numbers are increasing is because there is no way of containing it in northwest Syria,” Yamin told Middle East Eye.
"And when you live under 10 years of conflict, people are more worried about the ongoing fighting than the virus and say that they need to escape the fighting.”
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a new round of sanctions to ramp up pressure on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in December last year, effectively hampering the country in its battle against the pandemic.
Syria’s Central Bank, high-ranking figures and economic entities supportive of Damascus were targeted in the U.S. Treasury’s sanctions.
The bans target almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as the country’s government officials.