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Vietnam calls for dialogue, solutions for Syria amid COVID-19 pandemic

08:16 | 01/04/2020

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the UN, has called all concerned parties to continue pursuing dialogue and seeking long-term political solutions for the situation in Syria.

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vietnam calls for dialogue solutions for syria amid covid 19 pandemic
Medics check body temperature of passengers upon their arrival by bus in Syria's Kurdish area from Iraqi Kurdistan via the Semalka border crossing in Syria on March 1. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Vietnam welcomes recent progress in the security situation in Syria’s northwest, said Quy during a UN Security Council (UNSC) video conference on the humanitarian situation in the country on March 30.

However, he voiced concerns over the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in many parts of Syria and the country’s ability to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quy showed interest in the UN’s plans to further support the political progress in Syria at this time and appreciated aid provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other humanitarian partners to Syria to contain the spread of the disease.

Besides, he also urged all concerned parties to ensure the transport of humanitarian goods across the region.

Speaking at the conference, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said 10 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Syria, including one death, adding this is "the tip of the iceberg" judging from other places and that the virus has the potential to have a devastating impact on vulnerable communities across the country.

Together with UN Special Envoy for Syria Gier Pederson, he reiterated calls for a complete and immediate nationwide ceasefire to enable an all-out effort to counter the march of the new coronavirus.

Other UNSC members also called for a sustained period of calm for COVID-19 relief efforts to take place across Syria and the smooth movement of humanitarian goods, including medical supplies, in the country.

Two months into the pandemic, the number of cases across the Middle East continues to steadily rise. More testing in the past week is thought to account for a sharp increase in recent days, according to the Guardian.

Health and other officials focused on Lebanon, Iraq and Syria fear the numbers of people infected with coronavirus far exceed the official figures disclosed by all three governments.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 10 cases of COVID-19 in Syria where the war is now nine years old.

Jens Laerke, the spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), addressed journalists at a virtual briefing last week, noting the concern for millions of people across Syria, especially in the country's northwestern region and also on Libya, embroiled in conflict as well.

The OCHA said there are currently over 6 million internally displaced people throughout Syria.

The disease may spread very quickly through the region, especially in camps, where people live in large settlements, in overcrowded conditions with little sanitation./.

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VNA/the Guardian