Perilous Times

Increasingly Perilous Times to be a Migrant, Refugee, Asylum Seeker, Displaced or Homeless Person with Children. Coronavirus could kill 100,000 Syrians in Idlib’s refugee camps. Idlib could be the worst affected part of the world by the coronavirus

Luke 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Revelation 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

(‘fourth part’ = 25% = *7.7 billion x .25 = 1.93 billion people) *estimated earth population as of March 2020.

Increasingly Perilous Times to be a Migrant, Refugee, Asylum Seeker, Displaced or Homeless Person with Children. Coronavirus could kill 100,000 Syrians in Idlib’s refugee camps. Idlib could be the worst affected part of the world by the coronavirus

Date of publication: 26 March, 2020 Paul McLoughlin The New Arab

The novel coronavirus had swept through most parts of the world before finally arriving in Syria on Sunday, when a 20-year-old woman who had entered via Lebanon was confirmed as the country’s first case. 

There have been just four more cases of Covid-19 reported in Syria, but if there is one thing we have learned from the rapidly growing pandemic it is how quickly the coronavirus can spread and overwhelm healthcare sectors from Mumbai to Milan.

Saudi Arabia, for example, reported its first case of the virus on 2 March. Three weeks later, and the country has over a thousand cases with a strict nationwide curfew enforced to halt its spread.

It means that the current figure of five (5) cases in Syria is likely to skyrocket in the coming days and weeks, and nowhere could this prove more deadly than in opposition-held Idlib province.

Vulnerable

Hit by months of air strikes on medical facilities, and with more than a million refugees living in overcrowded camps and lacking the connections with international global health bodies, Idlib could be the worst tragedy of the coronavirus crisis.

On Thursday, Syrian NGOs and activist groups appealed to the UK government and UN to urgently respond to the threat of coronavirus in Idlib province – which the region’s health directorate warned could kill tens of thousands of people.

The signatories said coronavirus would likely spread with speed among Idlib’s hundreds of thousands of refugees and quickly overwhelm the opposition province’s already under-resourced healthcare facilities.

Batol Abdulkareem, from Syria Solidarity UK, said that as the threat of the deadly Covid-19 threat inches closer to Idlib, the situation in the camps appears grim.

“Over a million people living in overcrowded makeshift IDP camps in north Syria have no access to soap and running water, no medical facilities, no ventilators, and social distancing is impossible,” she said in a statement.

“We are writing to the WHO, DFiD, and ECHO to urgently mobilise resources to provide these basic necessities to avert an imminent catastrophe. This pandemic is a threat to all of us and unless we stand together to protect the most vulnerable, humanity will suffer.”

In a joint letter signed by Syria Solidarity UK, Kesh Malek, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and other groups, the NGO workers and activists called on the UK government, the World Health Organisation, and others to immediately respond while there is still time.

“[We] are writing to you to express our grave concern over the dire situation of the IDP camps in the north of Syria especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter, addressed to the UK Department for International Development (DFiD) read.

Healthcare crisis

Healthcare workers and NGOs are already struggling to cope with a mass exodus of around one million people from southern Idlib towards the Turkish border, following a major Russian-backed regime offensive which began in December.

Medical facilities there have been decimated after repeated Russian and Syrian regime air strikes, which have not only destroyed dozens of clinics but also killed urgently needed doctors, nurses and emergency responders. 

There is also a shortage of essential hygiene products such as soap, clean running water, and even tissues.

“Basic measures recommended by the WHO to halt contagion such as frequent, thorough handwashing, using hand sanitisers, catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, social-distancing, and self-isolation for symptomatic individuals are all impossible for Syrians living in IDP camps,” the letter continues. 

It makes the current WHO guidelines of how to avoid the coronavirus – such as washing hands regularly and avoiding contact with other people – moot for the refugees living in overcrowded camps in Idlib, where 35 people often share a single tent.

Healthcare workers also lack the necessary medicine and equipment needed to protect themselves from the virus, let alone the necessary tools to treat others with the disease.

The letter called on the UK government to provide emergency supplies to help medical workers cope with the crisis, including clean water and soap, more tents, Covid-19 test kits, ventilators, ICU units, and training for medical workers.

Activists have started a Twitter campaign to highlight the fact that the global advice to “#StayHome” is not an option for Syrians in Idlib, lacking the basic healthcare and safety enjoyed by others in the world.

Mass death

Idlib’s health authority has estimated that as many as 100,000 people could lose their lives in an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Idlib Health Directorate said that due to air strikes on medical facilities, the province has only 105 intensive care beds and 30 ventilators to cater to a population of more than three million civilians.

“Our ventilators are always 100 percent occupied and we don’t have one single bed ready for a corona case today,” Dr Munzer Al-Khalil, head of the directorate, said in a statement.

“Camps are the perfect breeding ground for the virus and 400 percent overcapacity, with ten or more people sharing one tent. People don’t have enough water for drinking, let alone washing their hands.”

Al-Khalil said that over the past year, northwest Syria has seen 76 health facilities destroyed or lost to regime forces, adding further strain to healthcare facilities.

“Donors have cut their funds and medical staff have been killed, arrested or displaced. The health sector in Idlib cannot cope with the inevitable outbreak and we fear 100,000 people could die unless we get supplies immediately,” he said.

The only glimmer of hope for the people of Idlib is a shaky ceasefire put in place after a Russian and Turkish agreement earlier this month.

Yet even this hangs by a thread with Idlib villages destroyed in regime rocket fire this week and threats against Turkish and Russian troops by shadowy Islamist groups forcing joint patrols along the M4 highway to be put on hold.

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu made a surprise visit to Damascus this week and met Bashar Al-Assad. He reportedly instructed the Syrian president to end regime attacks on Idlib province and abide by the terms of a Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement.

If the coronavirus spreads from regime areas or Turkey into Idlib, then the situation will be inexplicably worse than what other Middle East countries have endured and mark another tragic chapter of the Syria war.

Revelation 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

(‘fourth part’ = 25% = *7.7 billion x .25 = 1.93 billion people) *estimated earth population as of March 2020.

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Categories: Perilous Times

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