COVID-19 precautionary measures at Syrian refugee camps

The United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in coordination with the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate, Tuesday carried out a set of precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

UNHCR media official Mohammad Hewari told Petra in an interview that in line with the Jordanian government’s decisions and in coordination with the directorate, the refugee agency implemented precautionary steps, including banning or limiting movement inside and outside the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps.

He said that not a single case of infection was detected among the refugees, but added that it is impossible to expose the heavily populated camps to the risk of contamination with the virus, especially given the evolving situation.

“Although no cases have been reported among the refugees, refugees with work permits will not be allowed to leave the camps, but refugees returning to the camp will be allowed in,” he pointed out.

Additionally, he said, external visits to the Syrian refugee camps were halted, while a limited number of UNHCR workers are in the camps to ensure that all the emergency preventive measures are in place.

Noting that basic services are continuing at hospitals and clinics as well as the provision of food supplies, Hewari called for the inclusion of the Syrian refugees in the national health response plans so that those with symptoms of the virus can be transferred to government hospitals.

He stressed that all clinics inside the camps were ready to deal with such circumstances.

More than 746,000 refugees of the various nationalities are registered with the UNHCR, about 87.9 per cent of the total number of refugee, including 656,501 living in camps and with local communities, according to UNHCR statistics.

Source: Jordan News Agency