The United Nations agency for refugees has confirmed two coronavirus cases in the crowded Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The Azraq camp is home to some 36,000 Syrians displaced by the country’s civil war. The two patients have been transferred to quarantine facilities and their neighbors have been isolated as more testing is carried out, the UNHCR said on Tuesday.
These are the first infections to be detected among Syrians living in refugee camps in Jordan, where more than 100,000 displaced Syrians are stationed. Another camp, Zaatari, houses some 76,000 people.
“This is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in refugee camps in Jordan,” the UNHCR said in a statement. “It is a reminder that everyone has been affected by this epidemic,” the agency noted. “Solutions must be addressed through international solidarity and cooperation.”
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Jordan hosts a total of more than 650,000 Syrian refugees. The country has seen almost a doubling of cases in the last month, to a total of 2,161 along with 15 deaths, Reuters said. The figure is a much smaller known toll than in many other Middle East countries, but authorities remain worried about a severe outbreak.
Nearly two million Jordanian children returned to school on September 1 after a five month-absence. However, teaching was suspended in some areas due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. In some neighborhoods of the capital, Amman, several schools for Palestinian refugees and state schools were closed after cases doubled there in recent days.
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