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“Patients are too scared to come”: what it’s like to watch coronavirus from a war zone hospital

The world is rightly pulling together to face this pandemic. But here in Idlib, Syria, our patients and healthcare workers face urgent threats every day

By Dr Ihsan  

At our hospital in Idlib, Syria, patients are scared to come and seek treatment—and it's not hard to understand why. Photo: Prospect composite

As coronavirus has dominated headlines over the past few months, most of the world is more aware than ever of the importance of decent healthcare. But in the isolated pocket of Idlib, Syria, where hospitals are regularly bombed and targeted, the latest escalation in violence means people are dying rather than seek treatment.

It may sound insane to risk your life for fear of going to hospital. Hospitals should inject life back into people—not suck it away.

But since the beginning of December, more than 84 hospitals and medical facilities in northwest Syria have been damaged, destroyed or…

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