Sounding the alarm over the looming disaster of coronavirus in northern Syria, Doctor Ahmad Ghanddor urges people to support Islamic Relief’s emergency appeal.

This dangerous virus is threatening the lives of millions of people. Even the advanced countries are unable to stop the virus. It threatens security, it threatens millions of lives, it threatens the economy, everything.

Alhamdulillah (praise God) we haven’t any confirmed cases [of coronavirus] in northern Syria. After testing in Turkish laboratories alhamdulillah the results for all the suspected cases were negative.

But that does not mean we will not see any confirmed cases the next day.

If any cases are confirmed, if coronavirus spreads in the north of Syria, there will be very big problems. A dangerous disaster will threaten the lives of more than three million people, and also the neighbouring countries.

Dr Ahmad Ghanddor checks on a patient.

Coronavirus would overwhelm the health service in northern Syria

We haven’t enough ICU centres, we haven’t enough quarantine centres, we haven’t medicines and vaccines to treat [patients], we haven’t enough staff trained to deal with these patients.

The north of Syria is full of tents – this area is crowded with people. A lot of families live together, and the risk of spreading this virus will be very dangerous.

It will be spread to all of northern Syria.

People are [already] in need after the displacement last month. Their situation is very very bad. They need help, they need food, they need to work to get food for their families. It will be a big problem if any [coronavirus] cases are confirmed or this virus spreads. We can’t force people into quarantine.

One of the measures to stop the spread is to stay at home. How can you [persuade] poor people who are in need of food and medicines for their family to stay in their home? They won’t die from COVID-19, [but] they’ll die from hunger and thirst and [other] illness.

We need to help these people, to control this infection, and save people’s lives.

Dr Ahmad Ghanddor and colleagues conduct a surgical operation.

The vulnerable people of northern Syria need help now

Hospitals need machines like ventilators, we need medicines, we need personal protective equipment (PPE), we need [hand] sanitiser.

And for the community, for people living in the camps, we need to support them with food and medicine… and hygiene packs with gloves, soap, sanitiser, shampoo.

I would like to thank Islamic Relief for this campaign. I would like to thank them for everything they give us and other medical centres.

This campaign is very very important and must continue because a real disaster threatens millions of lives so please support this campaign, please help us.

Jazakallah, thank you.

Islamic Relief has already started our lifesaving COVID-19 response in Syria, where we’re on the ground distributing hygiene items. We aim to respond in every country in which we have a field office or long-term partner office. We urgently need your support. Please donate to our Coronavirus Appeal now.