Syria govt official says Damascus coronavirus beds full

Damascus, March 18 (AFP/APP):Intensive care beds for coronavirus patients in Syria’s capital Damascus were full Thursday, a health ministry official said, in the first such announcement since the start of the pandemic.
“The occupancy rate of intensive care beds dedicated for coronavirus patients in public hospitals… in Damascus has reached 100 percent,” state news agency SANA quoted health ministry official Tawfiq Hassab as saying.
“A certain number of Covid-19 patients who needed intensive care have been transferred to other provinces,” he said, noting a large increase in local transmission.
Syria has recorded 16,776 cases of Covid-19, including 1,120 deaths in government-held areas.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) believes the number of cases could be much higher in view of limited testing.
The Syrian presidency has said President Bashar al-Assad and his wife have caught mild cases of Covid-19, but as of Wednesday they were recovering.
Government-held areas in Syria are to receive coronavirus vaccines under the Covax global initiative to ensure jabs reach low-income countries.
“The first allocation of vaccines is anticipated by the end of the first quarter of 2021, or within the next quarter at the latest,” a WHO report said on Thursday.

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