Turkey transfers coronavirus patients to Serêkaniyê hospital

According to reports, the Roj Hospital in Serêkaniyê has been turned into a quarantine center where infected people stay.

The Autonomous Administration North-East Syria Health Committee co-chair, doctor Cîwan Mustafa, said that the Turkish state is committing a new crime by transferring people with coronavirus to the hospital in Serêkaniyê.

The co-chair of the Health Committee warned of the danger of coronavirus being detected North-East Syria at any time. Cîwan Mustafa stated that they made preparations and taken measures according to their resources and added: "We do not have the resources to face such an epidemic."

ANF interviewed doctor Cîwan Mustafa.

It is said that there are no cases of coronavirus detected in North-East Syria yet. How prepared are you for a possible outbreak of the epidemic?

North-East Syria has been involved in a war for 9 years and is under siege. The pandemic spreading in the Middle East, including Syria, is already claming lives on a daily basis. As soon as the outbreak reached the Middle East, we closed the borders. Intercity transport has been stopped in the whole region. The curfew continues. Disinfection work and preparations were carried out. Due to the measures taken, no cases have been detected in the region so far.

Of course, there is always the possibility of the virus appearing in our territory. If this happens, we have very few treatment, medical equipment, medical staff and financial means. We do not have the resources to face such an epidemic.

For example, in a region like Shehba, health facilities are very limited. The existing facilities are having a hard time even meeting the current daily health services. The region is under siege.

What is the number of hospitals and personnel in North-East Syria? Do you have the opportunity to carry out tests?

Apart from private hospitals, there are 14 hospitals affiliated to the Autonomous Administration. Hospitals are designed according to regional conditions and needs. Hospitals and emergency services are available 24 hours a day. Between 40 and 200 healthcare professionals work in hospitals.

As a result of the collaboration between the Health Committee and the Swedish PIS institution, a kit that could quickly detect the coronavirus has been developed. It's a test kit that can detect the presence of the virus in 30-60 seconds with 80-85% reliability. This kit is available in all health centers created in North-East Syrian cities. However we need devices capable of detect the virus with a 100% reliability. Our efforts continue to bring these devices to the region. There is a problem because north-east Syria is under siege and the other countries have also closed their borders. This is the biggest challenge ahead. We do not have trained health personnel who can fight the virus.

The World Health Organization stated that it would help countries and regions at risk. Have you received any help?

No, we haven't.

There are camps in North-East Syria where hundreds of thousands of people live in crowded tents. What kind of risks are facing these camps?

The coronavirus can spread more easily in crowded environments. Hundreds of thousands of people remain in the camps in the region. This poses a greatest danger when it comes to the spreading of the virus.

The Hol Camp, with more than 70 thousand people (mostly ISIS families), is the largest camp in the region.  The facilities of the North-East Syrian Democratic Autonomous Administration are insufficient to prevent an epidemic in the camps. There are citizens of 44 countries in Hol Camp. The 44 states and the International Coalition are responsible for these people.

There have been reports of the "Turkish state transferring coronavirus cases to the region of Serêkaniyê under its occupation". Is this correct?

According to the latest information we received, the Roj Hospital in Serêkaniyê has been turned into a quarantine center where infected people stay. People who contracted the coronavirus are taken there. This poses a great danger to the region. The Turkish state is committing yet another crime.