Syria says Damascus coronavirus beds full
"The occupancy rate of intensive care beds dedicated for coronavirus patients in public hospitals... in Damascus has reached 100 percent," state news agency SANA quoted health ministry official Tawfiq Hassab as saying.
"A certain number of Covid-19 patients who needed intensive care have been transferred to other provinces," he said, noting a large increase in local transmission.
Syria has recorded 16,776 cases of Covid-19, including 1,120 deaths in government-held areas.
But the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes the number of cases could be much higher in view of limited testing.
Meanwhile, the Syrian presidency has said President Bashar al-Assad and his wife have caught mild cases of Covid-19, but as of Wednesday they were recovering.
Government-held areas in Syria are to receive coronavirus vaccines under the Covax global initiative to ensure jabs reach low-income countries.
Read also: Bashar and Asma Al-Assad 'recovering' from Covid-19, Syrian presidency says
The WHO, together with the UN children's agency UNICEF and Gavi, will support Syria in acquiring jabs to initially cover at least three percent of the population and aim for 20 percent by 2022.
"The first allocation of vaccines is anticipated by the end of the first quarter of 2021, or within the next quarter at the latest," a WHO report said on Thursday.
In February, Human Rights Watch urged support for aid groups to ensure "equitable" distribution of coronavirus vaccines to all areas of war-torn Syria, warning against any bid by the regime to block access to opposition and Kurdish-held regions.
The Observatory's previous tally was issued in December and stood at more than 387,000.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said 2020 saw the lowest annual death toll since the war began with just over 10,000 deaths.
Agencies contributed to this report.