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Syria’s actual coronavirus cases higher than statistics show, says UN official

The actual number of coronavirus patients in Syria is higher than statistics based on confirmed cases show, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said at a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

According to him, “the problem is now country-wide: cases have now been confirmed in all but one of Syria’s governorates.” “UN staff working in Syria are also struck by the disease. The number of confirmed cases remains in the hundreds – so still a relatively low level,” Lowcock added.

“The true number of cases is certainly higher; limited testing capacity, compared to what is available in neighboring countries, and a reluctance, among some people, to acknowledge an infection masks the real scale of the outbreak,” the UN under-secretary-general pointed out.

Lowcock also said that “the Syrian economy, devastated by nearly a decade of conflict, has entered a period of extreme fragility, marked by exchange rate volatility, high inflation, dwindling remittances, and lock down measures to contain COVID-19.” “For the year as a whole, the economy is expected to contract by more than seven percent this year,” he emphasized.

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