As of 7 December, there were 17,527 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in northwest Syria (NWS), including 8,334 recoveries and 221 fatalities. Reports from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicate that the majority of newly confirmed cases in NWS, 1618 (9.23%), were among health care workers, and 747 (9.63%) cases were among community health workers and other staff working in health facilities (4.26%). Moreover, 1,596 (9.63%) cases were reported from internally displaced person (IDP) camps.
In April 2020, REACH began a series of monthly knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) surveys with the goal of informing the communications response in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. REACH observed high levels of COVID-19 knowledge among survey respondents in the first round of data collection, which was conducted in late April as communication efforts and curfews were well under way. Greater wariness of COVID-19 was seen among attitudes and practices responses, especially among female respondents. In the second and third rounds of data collection, which were conducted in late May and late June respectively, knowledge remained high while attitudes and practices had shifted to less cautious in relation to COVID-19 among both female and male respondents.
The fourth round of data collection began as a reset of the panel study, with new respondents, and an updated questionnaire, that was designed in consultation with a public health expert. The data indicated that knowledge of preventive practices remained fairly high, and attitudes reflected a higher degree of concern regarding potential COVID-19 infection. However, preventive practices such as social distancing (<22%) and wearing masks remain low (<30% in all situations).
Similarly, the fifth and latest round of data collection demonstrated that knowledge has been consistently high, while barriers to preventive action have been an issue. Attitudes reflected a higher degree of concern regarding potential COVID-19 infection and respondents reported taking additional preventive measures and wearing masks more often in different scenarios (while going to a friend's house, when shopping, going to work, etc.). All previous factsheets can be found here.