No one can deny that COVID-19 case numbers have deceased globally in the last few months, especially with the spread of the Omicron variant and its relatively milder symptoms. This decrease in COVID-19 cases and deaths is reflected in all areas of control in Syria. However, this does not mean the epidemic is finished. There are still cases confirmed daily in all areas of Syria, several of which are sufficiently critical to require hospitalization or lead to death. Additionally, not all cases and deaths are reported. Many might go undetected by local health authorities due to the weak testing and management capacity in all areas-of-control in Syria.
Thus, we should continue adhering to simple prevention measures as much as possible, including regular handwashing with soap and water, wearing masks in crowded spaces, avoiding contact when possible, and getting vaccinated. Some might say ‘Because we live in conflict-affected areas, we have enough problems and don’t have the luxury of thinking about COVID-19 prevention.’ However, while it is true that the conflict and socioeconomic circumstances are beyond our control, helping protect ourselves and our households from COVID-19 – especially by getting vaccinated – is something we can easily do and we have the responsibility to do so no matter how unhelpful the circumstances around us. Working to protect ourselves and our family will help to protect the whole community by reducing chances of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. All religions encourage believers to take precautions and avoid surrendering to risks.
Lastly, it’s worth highlighting that taking personal responsibility does not exempt local health authorities from their responsibilities in regulating and facilitating adherence to prevention measures for all citizens. However, any negligence or inaction by authorities should not discourage us from taking the initiative and protecting ourselves and our loved ones.