As the number of coronavirus cases rise inexorably around the Middle East, Idlib province in northwest Syria is a disaster waiting to happen. Idlib and surrounding opposition areas have only one COVID-19 PCR test machine and 2,000 tests kits for a population of over five million. This makes the province a sanitary ticking bomb, which could reverberate across borders.
Members of a humanitarian aid agency disinfect Ibn Sina hospital as prevention against coronavirus in the city of Idlib, Syria, on March 19, 2020. (AP)
An aerial picture taken on February 15, 2020, shows a Syrian man on a motorbike in the deserted Syrian city of Kafranbel, south of Idlib city in the eponymous northwestern province, amid an ongoing pro-regime offensive. (AFP)