A throng of citizens in Mharda city’s square in Hama suburbs shows a lack of community awareness & commitment to confronting the danger of the coronavirus

Photo shared online on December 17, 2020, shows clear overcrowding among a throng of citizens gathering in a square in the center of Mharda city in the western suburbs of Hama governorate during a celebration held to mark the lighting of the Christmas tree, with both regime officials and members of the public in attendance ignoring the need to maintain social distancing; most of those present are also not wearing facemasks, a further violation of all the precautionary measures introduced to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic among the public.

SNHR notes that the numbers of COVID-19 cases in areas under the Syrian regime’s control are constantly increasing, having already reached 9,759 cases, including 571 deaths, according to the Syrian Ministry of Health’s latest statement issued on December 17, 2020. Despite this, however, the Syrian regime has taken no real action to stop overcrowding of citizens attempting to obtain essential items such as bread and gas and collecting their salaries; this negligence on the regime’s part is a blatant violation of the precautionary measures introduced to prevent the transmission or spread of disease. The SNHR notes that this is further confirmation that a regime which is already responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Syrians and displacing 12 million more as refugees and IDPs will not care for its people.