On Monday, residents of Tal Tamr, northwest of Hasakah, expressed their concerns about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, as a result of the way of the security forces (Asayish) checkpoints operate in the town and lack of precaution in terms of procedures.
On the eighth day of the announcement of the lockdown in the regions of northeastern Syria, the town of Tal Tamr witnesses a relative commitment by the residents to stay in their homes, unlike the previous days that witnessed numerous breaches of the quarantine, after the Internal Security Forces, the rapid response teams (Hawarî) and the traffic police strengthened their security measures to prevent the infection of the novel coronavirus.
Asayish patrols are deployed throughout the town to ensure the implementation of the quarantine, but residents criticize members of these forces for not committing to health measures, especially when dealing with those who have been exempted from the lockdown or others who are sometimes forced to cross the checkpoints.
Ahmed al-Omar, a resident of Tal Tamr, said that this morning he drove to the town’s market to buy some necessities. A patrol of the Asayish stopped him to check his personal identity and the credentials of his car, but he noticed that the members who checked his ID and the credentials of his car were not wearing protective gloves or medical masks, despite them checking a large number of identity cards and papers every day.
Omar expressed his fear of the spread of diseases in this way, including the coronavirus epidemic, calling on the security forces and the concerned authorities to take preventive measures against the transmission of infectious diseases.
An administrator in the Internal Security Forces told North-Press that the amount of masks and gloves they got was insufficient. He added, "We are working hard to prevent coronavirus, and we are working with medical authorities to tackle the matter and implement preventive measures soon."
Another member of the Asayish, who was standing at one of the checkpoints inside the town, indicated that they had asked their leadership to provide gloves and masks, but the answer was, "it is not available now."
Since the spread of the virus in neighboring countries, markets in northeastern Syria have witnessed a severe shortage of materials used for prevention, such as medical masks, cleaning materials, and sanitizers.
Last Friday, the Health Board in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria appealed to organizations to move quickly to help it in light of the serious circumstances, which the region is facing as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus in neighboring countries.
This came in a report presented by the Health Board on Friday to the UN Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen, in which it drew attention to a massive shortage of supplies and capabilities necessary to confront the outbreak of COVID-19, and to treat the possible infected.