Inside Story

Can coronavirus be contained in conflict zones?

Libya, Syria and Yemen are bracing for a possible coronavirus outbreak.

From complete lockdowns of cities to building new hospitals, rich countries appear to be better suited in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

But COVID-19 is straining the healthcare systems of some developing countries. This raises fears that nations whose hospitals are closed or ill-equipped may not be able to cope.

Conflict zones are of particular concern. Libya‘s UN-recognised government in Tripoli has declared a state of emergency. It has ordered the closure of its land, air and sea crossings, as well as schools for three weeks.

Yemen‘s Saudi-backed government has suspended all flights to and from airports under its control for two weeks. And Syria has delayed its parliamentary elections and cancelled most public events.

So, can developing nations and those in conflict zones handle a global pandemic?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Dr Ihsan Eidi – Cardiologist at a hospital in Syria’s northern province of Idlib

Joelle Bassoul – Middle East and Eastern Europe media manager for Save the Children

Claudia Gazzini – Senior Libya analyst at the International Crisis Group and former policy adviser to the UN Libya Envoy, Ghassan Salame