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Syria: Bashar and Asma al-Assad test positive for Covid-19

Assad's office confirmed that the Syrian president and his wife had caught the novel coronavirus
A file handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on 4 November 2020 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Asad and his wife Asma, wearing face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic (AFP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma have tested positive for Covid-19, his office announced on Monday.

An official statement confirmed that the couple were in "good health and in stable condition" and will continue to be working from home over "two or three weeks."

"After feeling mild symptoms similar to those of the Covid-19 virus, President Assad and Asmaa al-Assad took a PCR test, and the result showed that they were infected with the virus," the presidency said on Twitter

Syria has officially recorded at least 1,063 deaths from the coronavirus, with 15,981 confirmed cases. 

Health experts have disputed these figures and believe that the toll is much higher in the country, embroiled in conflict for ten years.

The Assad's diagnosis comes a week after Syria began vaccinating frontline healthcare with shots from an unidentified "friendly state".

In the Kurdish-held northeast, the Kurdish administration has announced a total of 8,689 cases and 368 deaths. 

In rebel-held northwest Syria, opposition officials have reported 21,209 cases, including 632 deaths.

Since 2011, the Syrian civil war killed more than 400,000 people and destroyed its healthcare system as it battles to cope with the coronavirus. 

The Syrian government has also struggled to enforce restrictions because of the ongoing economic crisis that the local currency's devaluation has further compounded.