Analysis & Opinions - PRI's The World

Can COVID-19 Be Contained in War-Torn Syria?

| Mar. 27, 2020

Syria on Wednesday implemented a nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as lockdown measures to counter the spread of coronavirus were extended, according to residents and state media.

The government had already ordered the closure of shops, markets and public transport, allowing only pharmacies to remain open and limited deliveries of bread to prevent crowding near bakeries.

Opposition figures and independent politicians point to Damascus' strong ties with Iran, the worst affected country in the region, as a source of possible contagion.

They say the virus in Syria has spread from some members of Iranian-backed militias who are fighting alongside the Syrian army. Iran has a huge presence in Syria, with thousands of militiamen who control large areas and towns.

David Miliband is the head of the International Rescue Committee, which has been providing humanitarian assistance inside Syria since 2011. He spoke with The World's Marco Werman about efforts to prevent and treat the novel coronavirus in a war zone. 

Listen to the interview here.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Can COVID-19 Be Contained in War-Torn Syria?.” PRI's The World, March 27, 2020.


David Miliband