Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma al-Assad, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are suffering from mild symptoms, the government announced on Monday, March 8.
A brief statement from the Syrian presidency said Assad and his wife, Asma al-Assad, took PCR tests after developing mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The test result was positive.
Their positive test results came more than a week after Syria started vaccinating frontline health workers using jabs delivered from an unidentified ‘friendly state’.
Both Assad and his wife are in a good condition and will be working from home during the next two to three weeks, the presidency said. It urged all Syrians to follow prevention measures against the coronavirus.
“President al-Assad and Ms. Asma salute the medical staff working on the front lines to confront the virus and mitigate its effects for all those affected,” the statement said.
The government has recorded 15,981 cases of Covid-19, including 1,063 deaths in government-held areas.
The conflict in Syria since 2011 has killed more than 387,000 people and ravaged a healthcare sector struggling to cope with a mass outflux of professionals.
Members of the government are set to receive jabs as part of the World Health Organisation’s Covax initiative by the end of this month.
The WHO, the UN children’s agency UNICEF and the Gavi vaccine alliance, said they would help Syria get jabs to cover initially at least three percent of an estimated 20-million-strong population, and aim for 20 percent by the end of the year.