Syria confirms 1st coronavirus case: regime health minister

A Syrian Red Crescent member sprays disinfectant along an alley of the historic Hamidiyah souk (market) in the old city of Syria's capital Damascus on March 22, 2020, as part of efforts against the coronavirus pandemic. (AFP Photo)

The Assad regime registered the first coronavirus case in Syria, regime's health minister said on Sunday.

The person infected with the virus had come from abroad, Nizar Yazigi was cited as saying by Syria's official news agency SANA.

"Appropriate measures have been taken to deal with the case," Nizar Yazigi said.

COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 169 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Out of more than 329,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now nears 14,500, while over 95,600 have recovered.

Despite the rising number of cases, a vast majority of people infected suffer only mild symptoms and recover.

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