Iran’s Proxies and Coronavirus in Deir Ezzor: Government’s Transparency?

REPORT AT A GLANCE

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On the 22nd of March 2020, the Syrian Ministry of Health reported the first documented Coronavirus case in Syria for a person coming from abroad, amidst regional and international skepticism over the country’s medical capacity. While the Syrian government announced it measures to handle the case, it adopted a set of precautionary actions in an attempt to limit mass gatherings of people and to restrict their movement across governorates. Yet measuring the success of the government’s response is tricky. Syria remains the country with the lowest regional figures and, when compared to neighboring countries, notably the last one to officially report a Coronavirus case.

 

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

 

> Syria’s nine years of conflict exhausted the country’s medical capacity.

 

> Coronavirus was present in Deir Ezzor governorate prior to the Syrian Government’s official announcement on March 22nd.

 

> The presence of Iranian proxies may have facilitated the outbreak of Coronavirus in Syria.

 

> The Syrian Government’s delay in reporting the first official Coronavirus cases raises questions over their transparency.