Hezbollah fighters tested for coronavirus before leaving for Syria as country fights off virus

Hezbollah fighters tested for coronavirus before leaving for Syria as country fights off virus
Hezbollah fighters have been tested for coronavirus.
2 min read
22 March, 2020
Members of the Syrian Violet NGO disinfect the streets of Syria's northwestern Idlib city [Getty]
Hezbollah is running coronavirus tests on its fighters before sending them to the frontline in Syria.

In a speech on the party’s Al-Manar channel, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said that all fighters sent to the front in Syria are being tested to make sure they do not transmit the virus there.

Tests are also being conducted for the fighters upon their return from Syria to make sure the virus is not spread to Lebanon if they contracted it in Syria, according to Aram.

This comes in light of the spread of the coronavirus across the world in a global pandemic that has taken the lives of thousands.

As of Friday, the number of injuries in Lebanon reached 163, after 14 new cases were registered, according to the Lebanese Ministry of Health. The number of injuries in Iran reached 19,644, and 1,433 people died.

Fears of the virus’ spread

Syrians fear that Iranian fighters supporting the regime militias are spreading the virus.

The Syrian government has taken many measures during the past days, including closing schools, mosques, cafes and gardens, and halting work in several government institution.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week began testing for COVID-19 in opposition northwest Syria this week, according to a Reuters report.

Syria's war, which last week entered its 10th year, is now concentrated in the northwest province of Idlib. The last rebel-held territory standing, Idlib has been ruthlessly targeted by regime forces.

With nearly a million Syrians displaced to crowded and exposed makeshift camps, the conflict rendered hundreds of thousands vulnerable to the coronavirus.

According to Reuters, only about half of medical facilities in rebel-held Syria are operational.

"We are hoping... to have the machinery and the tests sometime this week so we can start testing," said Dr. Rick Brennan, emergency director for the region, told Reuters.

"And we are very concerned. All of the surrounding countries have documented cases."

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected.