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The New Arab Staff

Fourth doctor in Syria's Idlib province dies from Covid-19

Dr. Gorani became the fourth doctor in Idlib to die from Covid-19 [Twitter]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2020

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Syria's Idlib is seeing a growing number of cases of the potentially deadly Covid-19 virus.

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A fourth Syrian doctor has died from Covid-19 in the opposition province of Idlib this week, activists reported late Monday, as the deadly disease continues to wreak havoc in the war-torn country.

Activists and local media said that Dr. Abdulmunem Gorani succumbed to Covid-19, making him the fourth doctor in Idlib province to die from the virus.

"Dr. Abdulmunem Gorani has refused to leave Idlib before and insisted on staying to help the civilians, today we lost him, and we lost part of the humanity... Already there were not enough doctors, and now there's less... RIP doctor," tweeted Syrian journalist Asaad Hanna.

Dr Gorani once said on his decision to stay in Idlib despite the daily dangers of regime and Russian bombing: "If all of us doctors leave, who's going to save lives and serve the people?"

Dr. Serene Masri, the medical chief of Primary Health Center of Salqeen, mourned the death of her colleague in a statement issued by The Syria Campaign.

"It is devastating to us and to our center to lose one of our best doctors. Dr Abdulmunem had worked with us everyday for many years. He was dedicated to serving his community and had close relationships with his patients. Such a huge loss," Dr. Masri said.

The Syria Campaign warned that the deaths of medical workers in Idlib from the disease or bombing will have a devastating cost for the province's overstretched healthcare system and its 4 million inhabitants.

"When a doctor is lost in northwest Syria, there is no way to replace them. The health services have suffered years of bombardment and attack," the group said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

"Now COVID is taking the lives of the few doctors caring for 4 million people living between front lines and the Turkish border, many in crowded camps where COVID is spreading."
Northwest Syria, in the hands of rebel groups and hardline Islamist factions, lost its first physician to the Covid-19 in September.

Dr. Adnan Al-Jasem worked as an anesthesiologist at an Al-Bab City hospital in Aleppo province, an aid worker told The New Arab at the time.

The International Rescue Committee have warned of the rapidly growing number of Covid-19 cases in northwest Syria and a dire shortage of doctors and equipment.

Syria's northwest region, which is outside regime control, saw a 300 percent increase in coronavirus cases in October.

Up to 28 October, the region had recorded 4,281 Covid-19 cases recorded and 21 confirmed deaths. This number has since increased to 6,063 confirmed cases and 42 deaths.

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