US News: Corona grasses in Syria's devastated rebel highcast Idlib

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Beirut. After the devastations by the Civil War, the Syrian province of Idlib is not just tranquility: the number of corona cases rises rapidly. But many hospitals are bombed, the survivors to arm to buy masks.

 Pflegepersonal und Patienten auf der Intensivstation des Krankenhauses einer syrisch-amerikanischen Hilfsorganisation in Idlib (Syrien). © Ghaith Alsayed Nurses and patients on the intensive care unit of the hospital of a Syrian-American aid organization in Idlib (Syria).

The Medical Association of the Syrian province of idlib speaks of a "medical catastrophe" and asks international aid organizations to support. In the overpopulated enclave with four million people, the number of Covid cases has doubled to more than 61,000 since the beginning of August. More than 1500 new infections have been repeatedly recorded daily in the recent weeks, and last Sunday alone registered the competent authorities 34 deaths. The actual numbers could be even higher, as many infected people do not report to the authorities.

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The situation has become so gloomy that the rescue workers known as white helmets - those who wired after the bombings in search of survivors through the rubble - now usually bring Corona patients to the hospital or the dead to burial.

Idlib has to do it with all the challenges that many places have been confronted in the world in the course of the pandemic: the intensive care stations are largely full, there is a lack of oxygen and test equipment, and The vaccination campaign is only slowly started. But the extreme poverty and the devastations by the war have worsened the situation in Idlib additionally. Tens of thousands of inhabitants live in crowded tent settlements where security distances and regular hand washing are virtually impossible.

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wide parts of Idlib and the adjacent province of Aleppo are further under the control of Syria's armed opposition, dominated by radical groups, including militants with compounds to the terrorist organization Al-Kaeda. They had any way to react to the outbreak. It is mainly due to the high-start delta virus variant and Muslim holiday meetings in August.

new infections and deaths have increased in areas under the control of the government in terms of government control and in those in the East, where the Kurdish-led fighters supported by the United States have the upper hand. But the location in Idlib seems to be worse.

In order to get the development to the handle, the political arm of the rebel group, which manages Idlib has a number of measures. Some markets were closed, restaurants instructed to serve only outdoors and postponed the start of school after a week after a week. A complete Lockdown, on the other hand, is impossible in idlib because most people are in the province of day laborers who could not survive an interruption of their work.

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"If you do not work, you can not eat," says inhabitants Ahmad Said. Most people could not even afford to buy facial masks. In addition, a population that has already passed a lot is often too shortened to comply with restrictions. "It's as if people got used to death," says Sawa Abdel Rahman, an activist of opposition. "Who has not been killed by government or Russian air raids, will now be through the coronavirus." According to the World Health Organization WHO, only about 2.5 percent of the provincial dwellers have received at least one vaccination dose. In September, however, 350,000 doses of a Chinese vaccine have arrived, which could help.

, in turn, aggravating that the Corona outbreak with a new increase in violence in idlib coincides - 18 months after a fire break agreed between Turkey and Russia has caused relative peace. The two countries support rival pages in Syria conflict. Over the past few weeks, air strikes and artillery'sal education have killed or violated numerous people through government troops.

Muhammad Abdullah in the Al-Siraa Hospital says, there are no signs that the current Corona wave has already reached the climax. But for some inhabitants a contagion is the slightest of their worries. "We went through harder situations than the coronavirus," says Ali Dalati, who goes through a market without a mask. "We are not afraid of the coronavirus."

Chad: Will the rebels participate in the national dialogue? .
© Issouf Sanogo / AFP Chadian President Goukouni Weddeye (here in May 2021) is at the head of the special technical committee in charge of the organization of the national dialogue and the participation of rebel groups.

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