Syria declares first coronavirus death

Damascus: A woman in Syria died on Sunday of the novel coronavirus, the health ministry said, marking the country”s first officially declared death from COVID-19.

“The woman died as soon as she was admitted to hospital,” the health ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA.

“After testing, it was found that she was a carrier of the coronavirus,” the statement added, without providing additional details.

In addition to the death, Syria has officially reported nine other coronavirus cases.

Fears are high that the virus could spread rapidly among the war-battered country”s most vulnerable communities.

The violence-plagued northwest, where around a million people have been displaced by conflict since December alone, is particularly vulnerable.

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To slow the spread of the virus, the Syrian government on Sunday banned movement between provinces until April 16th.

It also enforced a decision to prohibit travel within the boundaries of each province until further notice.

Schools and universities have been ordered shut until mid-April and the government has imposed a night-time curfew from 6 pm to 6 am.

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