‘We Escaped Death in Syria to be Chased by Coronavirus in Europe’

‘We Escaped Death in Syria to be Chased by Coronavirus in Europe’

News | 25 05 2020

For nine years, the fate of thousands of Syrians was either death, arrest, or enforced disappearance, which led many to flee from Syria to countries where they can feel safe.

Accordingly, Europe had a share of thousands of Syrians fleeing the inferno of death, but the tragedy did not end there, as these countries of asylum have witnessed the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, which has killed more than 6000 people around the world over a two and a half month- period.

"The Coronavirus has replicated the Syrian tragedy," explained the France based Syrian journalist, Manar Abdul Razzaq, to Rozana, adding that: “the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus has led to declaring a state of emergency in the European societies. However, for the Syrians this situation is nothing but a replication of their tragedy, starting from bombing, killing, displacement and forced exiles, and ending today with the risk of infection with the virus.”

The journalist pointed out that not only the Syrian refugees’ are afraid of the virus, but the entire world is also panicking, and for the first time, the world is sharing the same tragedy with the Syrians, namely the Coronavirus pandemic.

Until Tuesday evening, France recorded 175 deaths, while the number of infections amounted to 7730, according to the French BFMTV.
The French authorities stressed the application of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (covid-19).

French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the prohibition of unnecessary movement in France for at least 15 days, and stressed the punishment of anyone who violates this decision, while announcing that the European Union will close its external borders from Tuesday for 30 days.

In Sweden, Samira, a 30-year-old Syrian woman, told Rozana: “Despite the fact that the number of infections exceeded 1000 with eight confirmed deaths, the Syrians here feel that they are safe in a medically advanced country, which lifts their spirits while facing the virus and the widespread rumors about it, especially since the death rate is very insignificant and most of the deceased are elderly people with weak immunity systems.”

She added: "Our presence in a European country is a guarantee that our health will be protected as we get to receive the necessary medical care, which is better for us than being in another country, especially since the disease has spread around the world, and not only in specific countries."

Hidd Halderson, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Ankara warned that "the fragile health systems in Syria may not be capable of detecting and responding to the pandemic."

On Monday, WHO Regional Director Rick Brennan expressed grave concerns that the virus had spread to northern Syria due to the country’s vulnerable health system that has been severely damaged during the war.

Amani, 35, based in the Netherlands, told Rozana: “The Coronavirus has instilled fear in the Syrians’ hearts after years of enjoying a sense of safety which they lost in Syria, especially the elderly who are not well integrated in the Dutch society and do not master the language, and, thus, cannot understand local news or read the newspapers. This means that they are not properly aware of the developments taking place in the country.

She continued: "As Syrian people, we are accustomed to distrusting governments. So, we do not trust the statements of officials here or their efforts to combat the virus and protect the population.”

As of Tuesday evening, more than 194,000 people have been infected with the novel Coronavirus in 163 countries around the world, most of whom are in China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Germany, France and the United States.

European countries are seeking to find effective treatment to combat the virus, as a French company announced its willingness to provide millions of doses of an anti-malarial drug that has shown promising results in treating patients infected by the covid-19. 

Recently, as Turkey opened the doors of immigration for refugees to European countries on 27 February, hundreds of Syrians, among thousands of other refugees who hoped for starting a new safe life away from suffering, headed towards Greece, which closed its borders to block the influx of immigrants.

It is noteworthy that the Syrian has left 6.6 million displaced people inside the country and 5.6 million refugees around the world, according to the United Nations’ statistics, while the recorded number of deaths since the beginning of the war reached more than 500.000, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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