Syria parliamentary elections adjourned to May 20 over coronavirus concerns
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 14 March 2020 7:29 PM
Syria has decided to delay parliamentary elections, initially scheduled for April 13, in a precautionary step against the new coronavirus as the contagion continues its rapid spread around the world.
Syria's official news agency, citing a decree issued by President Bashar al-Assad, announced on Saturday that the legislative polls will be held on May 20.
Moreover, Syrian Health Minister Nizar Yaziji said there is no confirmed coronavirus patient in the war-ravaged Arab country, but Damascus is taking preventative measures.
Speaking at a Saturday joint press conference with the Resident Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Syria, Neama Saeed, Yaziji said that all samples analyzed in public health laboratories for suspected cases of COVID-19 infections had been negative.
He added that the government's measures and raising the level of the health sector's readiness are preventive and precautionary measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus.
Yaziji highlighted that Syria has taken measures at its border crossings, sea ports as well as airports to ensure those entering the country are not infected, and has even set up quarantine centers to transfer suspected cases to them.
Sixteen Syrian nationals, who had recently visited Iraq, as well as the crew members of a flight have been moved to a quarantine center in al-Duwair area on the outskirts of Damascus, he pointed out.
The Syrian health minister went on to say that 1,864 health centers across the country are monitoring any suspected cases, and sending related daily reports.
Yaziji emphasized that all medical requirements to protect the medical staff are available.
Saeed, for his part, praised the Syrian government's measures and efforts in the face of coronavirus spread as "very important."
He stated that the laboratory in the Syrian Ministry of Health is capable enough to diagnose COVID-19 infections in terms of medical supplies and staff experience.
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