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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma test positive for Covid-19

In a statement made to the public on Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced that he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19. According to the president’s office, the pair are in stable condition and are planning on self-isolating for two or three weeks. Syria has recorded more than 45,800 Covid-19 cases and over 2,000 total deaths, according to reports from local medical authorities. However, it is unclear how accurate Syria’s Covid-19 statistics are as a full picture of the pandemic’s effect in the country have been difficult to determine.

On March 1, Syria received its first shipment of vaccines. The country did not reveal which country sent the doses, merely referring to them as a “friendly” entity. The names and quantities of the vaccines have also not been made public by the administration. Other territories in Syria, including those that are rebel and Kurdish-held, have not yet received doses of the vaccine. Assad has repeatedly been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity during Syria’s decade-long civil war. Assad’s wife is of British nationality and is a breast cancer survivor.

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