For more than a week, areas of Raqqa countryside, in the north of Syria, remained outside the tightening security situation for the implementation of the lockdown imposed by the Autonomous Administration to confront the dangers of the novel coronavirus, so that the movement of the people remains as it was before the ban.
Residents and IDPs residing in these rural areas justify their failure to commit to to the different nature of work between the rural areas and cities, and their need for sources of income that depend on daily work.
Khaled Muhammad al-Nawaf, an IDP from Hama countryside residing in the village of Hazima (20 km north of the city of Raqqa), told North-Press that it is difficult to abide by the ban because the nature of his work as a shepherd requires him to take cattle to pastures. He said, "I have to take the cattle to pasture continuously, and for long hours. If I abide by the ban, how can my family and I make a living?"
According to a general recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), slaughterhouse workers, veterinarians and those dealing with live animals and animal products should implement good personal hygiene practices, including ensuring that hands are washed well after touching animals and animal products.
Hani al-Dahham, a resident of al-Hokumiya camp, 20 km north of Raqqa, believes that the ban has become a burden on them because he depends on daily work to support his family. "I am responsible for twelve people and they are relying on my work in the construction field to live, and since the ban imposed on the area, all construction-related work has ceased," al-Dahham said.
The lockdown included the closure of commercial stores in Raqqa and its countryside, except for stores that specialize in the sale of foodstuffs, pharmacies, and bakeries, provided that people are allowed to shop in the period between 6 am and 10 am every day. The task of applying this ban was entrusted to the Internal Security Forces in Raqqa.
Hamdan al-Abd, head of the crisis management team in the city of Raqqa, told North-Press that the reason some people do not adhere to the ban is due to the financial need of most of the residents of Raqqa and its countryside and their dependence on daily work to earn their living.
He added, "Because of the long period of the ban and because many people depend on daily work, we have decided to give poor families food baskets, distributed through local council, including basic food needs."
The crisis management team in Raqqa was made up of 12 members to confront coronavirus and to assess the situation of the region in regard to the ban that began on March 23rd.