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First case of coronavirus appears among residents of Syrian Al Hol camp

Al Hol camp, Syria | 10 August 2020 | Save the Children

After earlier cases of COVID-19 among health workers in Al Hol Camp, the first infection in a resident of the camp was confirmed today, Save the Children can reveal. The number of cases reported across North East Syria has risen to over 100.
 
Orlaith Minogue, Conflict and Humanitarian Adviser at Save the Children, said: 
 
"One of our worst fears has come to pass. An outbreak of COVID-19 in Al Hol camp is going to be challenging to control considering how overcrowded  it is and how little access families have to water, personal hygiene items, tests and protective equipment. More than 65,000 people live in the camp. 

"Sadly, there will be more cases. We need to act quickly to limit the outbreak while minimizing the negative impact of control measures, such as closing education facilities.  

"As many as 43,000 children will be impacted by an outbreak in the camp. We are concerned about stigmatisation, their weakened immune systems and how to make sure they get through the next few weeks without adding to their psychological distress. 

“This is another stark reminder of the threats faced by innocent children in Al Hol camp. For the British children, our government can and must bring them to the UK where they will have the best chance of being safe and starting to recover from the horrors they have been through.

“We renew our calls for aid workers to be allowed full access to communities so we can do all we can control the spread of infection by providing remote education and distributing soap. We cannot afford the catastrophe of a large-scale outbreak in Al Hol."

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