Since recapturing Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian regime has worked with its security agencies to govern its towns. Given the fragility of state institutions after nine years of war, the Covid-19 outbreak may be one of the biggest challenges the regime faces today, especially in areas recently retaken. As the pandemic spreads with 44 cases confirmed in the country at the beginning of May 2020, Damascus has taken strict precautionary measures in an attempt to contain the outbreak.
Through a series of directives issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs, a curfew was imposed between Damascus and its countryside on 27 March 2020. It did not encompass all the Syrian regions, however, and was instead limited to areas recently retaken by the regime such as Eastern Ghouta. At the beginning of April, the Ministry of Health announced cases of infection in Douma, Harasta, Saqba and Hamouriyeh in Eastern Ghouta.