The United Nations on Friday sent 56 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Idlib, a northwestern Syrian province where millions remain in desperate need of assistance.
The aid trucks entered Syria through the Cilvegözü border gate in Turkey's southern Hatay province, which borders Idlib.
The supplies will be distributed to people in Idlib city and nearby rural areas.
The risk of an outbreak is especially high and most alarming in Syria's northwest, where some 3 million people are trapped in a shrinking opposition bastion battered by months of bombardment, especially in Idlib. With close to a million people displaced since December by a Russian-backed regime offensive on the Idlib region, overcrowded settlements are teeming with fresh arrivals, and many of the displaced are forced to sleep in freezing temperatures in open spaces.
Northwestern Syria 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. The camps are generally in poor condition with a lack of access to water, hygiene, medical aid and food.
Damaged health infrastructure and massive displacement due to attacks by the regime and Russia make potential containment measures in the region a nearly impossible task. Yearslong sieges caused the deterioration of the physical health of many people, who have suffered from malnutrition and widespread poverty.
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