The Syrian president and his wife are recovering after falling ill with the coronavirus, the government said Wednesday.
President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma had mild symptoms and continued to work from home. They will return to their normal activities once they test negative for COVID-19, the presidential office said.
Syria has suffered 16,656 cases of the coronavirus, including 1,110 deaths in government-controlled areas, although the actual numbers are most likely much higher, particularly in the north where the government does not control.
Assad, 55, and his wife Asma, 45, have been tested and are gradually returning to normal, the presidency statement said. They are in the recovery stage.
The first lady suffered from breast cancer and in 2019 announced that she had recovered.
The pandemic, which has affected even developed countries, has been devastating to Syria’s medical system, already dilapidated by years of civil war.
Syria has been mired in civil war for 10 years, when a wave of anti-government protests, part of the so-called Arab Spring, turned into an insurgency in the face of official repression. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and millions have been forced to flee their homes.
Days ago, Syria launched a vaccination campaign. The health minister said the government obtained the vaccines from a friendly country which he declined to identify. It has not been revealed whether Assad, who took over the reins of government after the death of his father in 2000, or any other members of his family have been vaccinated.