BEIRUT (AP) – Syria received a plane from the United Arab Emirates on Thursday with food and medical aid to help the warring country fight the spread of the coronavirus, Syrian state media reported.
The aid from the UAE comes at a time when Syria is witnessing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. Last week, Damascus ordered schools and universities to be closed for two weeks in a bid to curb the spread. Syria’s healthcare system, its infrastructure has been destroyed by a ten-year conflict that has killed nearly half a million people, and half of Syria’s population has been displaced.
Syria has registered almost 20,000 cases of coronavirus, including more than 1,300 deaths. However, the real numbers are expected to be much higher as trials are limited and many Syrians cannot afford to take tests due to the country’s devastating economic crisis.
During the first years of the war, the UAE supported the Syrian opposition. But the war failed, ական Syrian government forces recaptured most of the territory once lost to the opposition, the UAE: limited to a few other Arab countries երկր usually opened indirectly to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
At the end of 2018, the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus. This is the first time that an Arab diplomatic boycott of Syria began shortly after the start of the war in 2011. The representation of the embassy is at the level of Chargé d’Affaires, but its opening was very important. The sign will probably follow a closer approach.
The UAE State News Agency (WAM) reported that the UAE Red Crescent had coordinated with its Syrian counterpart to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable people in the war-torn country, including front-line paramedics, chronically displaced persons. People.
The statement did not say which vaccines were delivered, but the UAE was mainly vaccinated against the Chinese-backed Sinopharm vaccine for its rapid vaccination campaign. The country has previously shipped Sinopharm cargo to Egypt, a key Arab ally in the Seychelles.
Vaccination against coronavirus in neighboring Lebanon intensified on Thursday when vaccination of members of the Lebanese army began in about 21 military centers in the country. The army said the vaccine was first given to Army Commander General Joseph O’Shea, along with thousands of soldiers who will be vaccinated in the coming weeks.
Last week, Lebanon received a gift from China of 90,000 shots of Sinopharm, some of which will be used for the military. This small country of 6 million people, including 1 million Syrian refugees, has registered 485,000 cases of the virus, including 6,500 deaths so far.
Lebanese authorities have proposed extending the night curfew around the country by two hours to begin at 7pm during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins next week.
During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. People usually fast after eating with family and friends at home or in restaurants. The expected move by the government is to limit rallies that could spread the virus.
Lebanon launched coronavirus vaccination campaigns in February. About 270,000 people have been vaccinated so far, including 92,000 who received both shots of the vaccine.