Recently, the Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) has noticed a worrying surge in the incidence rate of COVID-19 disease in Northwest Syria. The incidence rate for the epidemiological week (Epi week 06-2022) has increased three times compared to the prior week. We have observed a steady increase in the daily positivity rate, reaching 30% in the Epi week 7/2022.
In collaboration and support from the World Health Organization (Gaziantep office) and the Turkish Ministry of Health, EWARN established the genomic surveillance for the SARS0COV-2. The sequencing process is ongoing weekly by sending samples from northwest Syria to the reference lab in Ankara.
On 17 February 2022, EWARN received genomic lab confirmation of the Omicron variant. The results of whole genomic sequencing showed that the “Omicron” strain was confirmed in 12 samples out of 18 samples (66%). The samples were collected in northwest Syria from 15 January to 2 February 2022.
The results have been uploaded to the GISAID platform. There are 38 sequences from Syria reported and published in the GISAID.
One result is still pending approval to be published at the report time. All the sequences were from Northwest Syria and uploaded by the EWARN team.