A caravan in Syria's Idlib city spreads virtues of social distancing, hygiene to avoid coronavirus - GulfToday

A caravan in Syria's Idlib city spreads virtues of social distancing, hygiene to avoid coronavirus


A trailer displaying a coronavirus (COVID-19) drawing, drives through the city of Idlib.

A white caravan splashed with images of the coronavirus roams the streets of  Idlib city in northwest Syria where a volunteer tell passers-by of the virtues of social distancing and hygiene to avoid infection.


"We remind people that they should stay at home so they don't mingle and remind them of a lurking danger that could at any moment enter our areas," Ibrahim Sarmini, a volunteer in the charity called Violet, said of the campaign in the war-torn town.


caravan2 Volunteers dressed in coronavirus-themed costumes sit on a vehicle during a campaign.


Syria’s northwest does not yet have a confirmed case of the coronavirus, but doctors fear the area’s ravaged medical infrastructure and overflowing camps would quickly turn any outbreak into a humanitarian disaster.


"If the disease enters our areas it will be a catastrophe that no one can stop," said Abdullah al Thamer, 33, a bemused resident who watched as the caravan passed by his home.


caravan3 Volunteers dressed in coronavirus-themed costumes gesture as they stand on a vehicle during a campaign.


Doctors warn that camps would not cope in the event of an outbreak, with hospitals already struggling to treat even basic illnesses after nine years of war.


Even advice to stay at home is rarely heeded by many in the city whose inhabitants have been uprooted by war and most people need to go to work as daily wage earners to survive, residents say.


caravan4 A trailer displays a coronavirus (COVID-19) drawing, part of an awareness campaign on the dangers of the virus.




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The government, backed by Russia and Iran, launched a push earlier this year to capture Idlib, sending hundreds of thousands of residents fleeing, many of them people who were already displaced.

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