UNITED NATIONS, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and partners are fighting the spread of COVID-19 in the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.
Already six patients in the 39 cases reported have died.
"Humanitarian organizations are supporting contact tracing, recognizing that a wider outbreak could be devastating to the already vulnerable families in the camp," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. More than half of the estimated 60,000 people in the camp are children under the age of 12 years.
"No child should grow up in a place like al-Hol," OCHA said in a release. The world organization and its humanitarian partners support the COVID-19 treatment facility at al-Hol, providing health, water and sanitation assistance to mitigate transmission of the virus.
The United Nations continues to stress that long-term, durable solutions are needed for all residents at al-Hol, whether they be Syrian, Iraqi, or from another country, according to the release.
While reiterating its call for full and regular humanitarian access to the camp, OCHA said any return of camp residents to their place of origin should be "voluntary, safe, fully informed and dignified," not forced.
The humanitarian office said the international aid response is a lifeline for the thousands of families living in the camp. Enditem