The first case of the coronavirus sickness in Syria
The first case of an infection with the new coronavirus was recorded in Syria — the Syrian Minister of Health, Nizar Yaziji, announced. His words were quoted by the SANA news agency. According to the SANA — the Syrian government made a decision, due to the threat of the spread of the coronavirus, to temporarily stop the public transport in all provinces of the country from 20:00 by the local time, starting from Monday. Since 23rd of March — most state-run institutions have been shut down, “except for the vital facilities and the companies that manufacture food products and medicines” — said the Syrian Prime Minister, Imad Khamis. “The exception was made for the medical centers, pharmacies, and grocery stores” — he added.
The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria stated that the Russian and Turkish military conducted the 2nd joint patrol of the M-4 highway in Syria, in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The M4 highway connects the cities of Aleppo and Latakia. The patrol went on a shorter route in order to ensure the security. The center noted that Turkey promised, in the near future, to neutralize the extremist groups that impeded «the movement of convoys of the joint patrols of the M4 highway, in the security corridor». The first joint patrol of the M4 highway took place on 15th of March.
3 Russia — Italy
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the 8th and the 9th Russian military cargo planes delivered the last groups of the medical specialists and equipment to fight the coronavirus infection in Italy. Those cargo planes took off on Monday, in the early morning. On Sunday, 7 cargo planes headed from Moscow to Italy. All the cargo planes arrived to the Italian Air Force Base ‘Pratica di Mare’ located 30 km to the south-west from Rome. The cargo planes delivered about 100 military virologists and other specialists from the Russian Ministry of Defense — they specialize in the epidemiology. 8 medical teams have arrived as well.
The regional operational HQ for the monitoring of the new coronavirus reported on the Telegram channel that the Ministry of Health of the Moscow Region had launched two laboratories for screening of people for the new coronavirus infection. The press service of the Russian ‘Rospotrebnadzor’ department reported that more than 72,000 people are under medical supervision due to the coronavirus infection in Russia. Over 165,000 tests have been conducted so far. The Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, supported the request of the head of the ‘Rospotrebnadzor’, Anna Popova, to increase the responsibility for the violation of the quarantine.
The ‘Reuters’ reports that the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, suddenly arrived to Afghanistan, on Monday. The US Secretary of State is in the city of Kabul — he plans to meet with the local president, Ashraf Ghani, and his political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who did not recognize the presidential election results. It was noted that Michael Pompeo arrived in order to facilitate negotiations on the exchange of PoWs between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. Earlier on Sunday, the Qatar Foreign Ministry reported that the Qatar and the US authorities had facilitated the first technical consultations between the Afghan government and the Taliban on the exchange of PoWs. The consultation was remote, due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, the second presidential elections ended in Abkhazia. The turnout exceeded 71%. According to the preliminary data from the Central Election Commission — Aslan Bzhania was victorious with 56.5% of the vote. It was reported that the inauguration of the new president may take place on 23rd of April. The former president of Abkhazia, Raul Khadjimba, resigned in January after several days of opposition protests in the country. The Georgian Foreign Ministry called the elections ‘illegal’ while stating that they completely contradict the fundamental norms and principles of the international law.