MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The United States has not taken any measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Rukban refugee camp it controls in Syria, the Russian and Syrian inter-departmental coordination centers said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
"The United States, which occupies the 55-kilometer zone Al-Tanf, has not taken any anti-epidemic measures in order to prevent the proliferation of the novel coronavirus infection in the camp. The lack of proper medical aid, individual protection gear, testing and barrier measures, as well as congestion and poor sanitary conditions may cause a surge in COVID-19 infection rates," the statement says.
Such indifferent attitude by the US side causes surprise, the Russian and Syrian centers said, because the United States, where COVID-19 infection and mortality rates are the world’s highest, "is fully aware of the risks of this infection to human health but at the same time remains an indifferent spectator to what is happening in Rukban."
"We believe that in the current situation there can be only one solution of the Rukban refugee camp’s problems — its dissolution and elimination. The Syrian government has arranged all crucial quarantine measures at the reception area Al Waha to ensure the safe return of refugees to their homes," the statement runs.
The anti-epidemic measures taken in the areas controlled by the Syrian government have helped identify 141 coronavirus cases. Fifty-eight patients have recovered. The Russian and Syrian coordination centers acknowledged that the quarantine restrictions imposed amid the pandemic have objectively slowed down the return of Syrian refugees to their homes, but their number still keeps growing. Currently it stands at 2.144 million.
The joint statement issued by the inter-departmental coordination centers was signed by the head of the Russian coordination center for the repatriation of Syrian refugees, chief of Russia’s National Defense Control Center Mikhail Mizintsev and chief of the Syrian coordination center for the repatriation of refugees, Local Administration Minister Hussein Makhlouf.