Yesterday, an official statement has announced that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and his wife, Asma, have both tested positive for the novel coronavirus, saying that both are in good health and have only experienced a few mild symptoms while in self-isolation.
The question of whether Bashar Assad and his wife received the Russian vaccine is very important.— Ruslan Trad (@ruslantrad) March 8, 2021
Over the last year, many world leaders have also contracted COVID-19, the virus which has been wreaking havoc across the world since it was announced a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in January 2020, including the former US president Donald Trump and the French president Emmanuel Macron.
This time, the Syrian president's announcement has stirred many controversies especially that it comes at a time most countries around the world are rolling out vaccine programs, but not Syria.
Some social media users wondered whether or not the 55-years old Assad has already received a jab, particularly as he had expressed his willingness to try the Russian-manufactured vaccine Sputnik V back in October 2020. Yet, no announcement has been made since then in regard to whether or not he has received it.
Other users also noted that his 45-years old wife, Asma had received a vaccine already since she is a cancer survivor, who had announced "full recovery" from breast cancer in August 2019, which makes her amongst the vulnerable groups when it comes to COVID-19.
Asma Assad is a cancer survivor but not known for Bashar Assad to have other issues.— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 8, 2021
This makes them the first Arab autocrat couple to catch the virus.
Again, confirms Spread of Covid amid deep economic crisis in Damascus, Syria
Last month, unconfirmed reports have hinted that Russia was trying to roll out a Sputnik V vaccination program in Syria, one that was allegedly funded by Israel, as part of a prisoner swap deal between Syria and Israel with Russian mediation.
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