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Syrian refugees face possible coronavirus outbreak in camps

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 29, 2020 - Duration: 02:13s

Syrian refugees face possible coronavirus outbreak in camps

In Syria's Azaz region near the border with Turkey, rescue workers whose usual role is to respond to government bombardments have been sanitizing classrooms and camps for internally displayed people, to prevent a possible spread of coronavirus.

Colette Luke has more.

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Syrian refugees face possible coronavirus outbreak in camps

As the coronavirus forces the world's wealthiest countries into lockdown, a potential humanitarian catastrophe threatens tens of million of people around the world crowded into refugee camps where healthcare and clean water are often scarce…..

In Syria's Azaz region, rescue workers have been sanitizing classrooms and camps for internally displaced people to prevent a possible spread of the disease.

But illnesses are still rife and social distancing is almost impossible to do.

A 42-year-old displaced man from Aleppo said he was scared for his life..

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DISPLACED MAN FROM ALEPPO COUNTRYSIDE, ALI HALLAK, 42, SAYING:" "As you have seen the situation in the camps, we are afraid of corona, these tents are not able to protect us from the virus and we are not able to sanitize the tents." Over in North Lebanon, a Syrian refugee woman who is a widow and a mother of four said she wanted to get infected to get out of the dire situation she was already in..

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE WOMAN, WIDOW AND MOTHER OF FOUR, MAHASSEN, SAYING: "It is a disease that came for the whole world, and I am not afraid, I actually want to be infected with corona and die...because one can then rest from all of this life." The United Nations said almost 70 million people uprooted by war and persecution around the world are in acute danger.

The UNHCR, the United Nations agency charged with protecting refugees, is asking other member states to help tackle this problem.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR AND SPOKESPERSON FOR MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, RULA AMIN, SAYING:"This is a virus that is attacking all of humanity and everybody, all of humanity should fight back as one.

This kind of battle cannot afford to leave anybody behind, if anybody is left behind, if there are people who are poor or marginalised or refugees or who are not capable of protecting themselves on their own, they are left behind, the efforts to combat this virus will fail everyone has to be included." According to the latest figures, the coronavirus has exceeded all previous outbreaks, infecting almost 600,000 globally and killing more than 27,000 people.

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