Turkish soldiers are distributing brochures and making announcements to locals in war-torn Syria’s northwest to inform people about the threats of the coronavirus pandemic, which could have a heavy effect on the country if not contained.
“The region’s people are informed by announcements explaining the measures that have to be taken to protect oneself against the coronavirus in residential quarters of the Operation Peace Spring area, while brochures are distributed at road control points within the scope of the fight against COVID-19, “ the Defense Ministry wrote Monday on Twitter.
“My dear brothers, please take the necessary measures against the coronavirus pandemic,” the announcement said, while it included warnings such as “Wash your hands regularly,” "If you have cologne, disinfect your hands,” “If your hands are dirty, do not touch your face, mouth and nose,” "Do not approach those with fever and those coughing” and “Beware of crowded places such as vegetable and animal markets.”
Turkey already started to aid Syria's awareness of the new coronavirus. In mid-March, units working under the Turkish Health Ministry began distributing informational brochures door-to-door in areas previously cleared of terrorists by the Turkish army.
The brochures, prepared by the Turkish Presidency’s Communications Directorate, were written in Arabic and explained the ways to protect oneself from COVID-19. The materials were distributed in Operation Olive Branch, Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Peace Spring areas.
Syria's damaged health infrastructure and massive displacement of citizens due to attacks by the Bashar Assad regime and Russia make potential containment measures a nearly impossible task.
The endless sieges are causing the deterioration of the physical health of many people, who suffer malnutrition and widespread poverty. Another risk is that people often live in overcrowded places and camps – ideal for the spread of the virus. Camps are generally in poor condition with a lack of access to water, hygiene, medical aid and food.
Syria's health care system has been ravaged by nearly a decade of war that has displaced millions of people and spawned rampant poverty. Hospitals and clinics across the country have been destroyed or damaged.