The streets of Damascus appeared almost empty on Wednesday evening as Syria began a nationwide night curfew amid its fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak. The curfew, which lasts from 6.00 p.m. until 6.00 a.m. local time, is in place across all Syrian provinces.

According to the Syrian Health Ministry, as of March 26, there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. The first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Syria was announced on Sunday, March 22.

The night curfew, which does allow for the movement of critical services such as health workers and press, follows Sunday's closure of markets, cafes, shops, and public transport. Syria's parliamentary elections have also been postponed from April 13 to May 20.

On Monday, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Hedinn Halldorsson said that the organisation is "extremely concerned about the impact COVID-19 may have in the northwest" of Syria.‚Äč

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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