Syria's Bashar al-Assad and his wife test positive for coronavirus, office announces

Al-Assad, wife Asma said to be in 'good health and in stable condition'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, the president's office said Monday.

Assad, 55, and his wife Asma both had only mild symptoms of the illness, according to the statement, and were said to be in "good health and in stable condition."

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Both Assad and Asma, who is 10 years younger and announced her recovery from breast cancer in 2019, will continue to work from home where they will isolate between two to three weeks, Assad’s office said.

In a statement, Assad’s office said the first couple did PCR tests after they felt minor symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 illness. (Syrian Presidency via AP, File)

In a statement, Assad’s office said the first couple did PCR tests after they felt minor symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 illness. (Syrian Presidency via AP, File)

Syria, which has been mired in a 10-year civil war, has recorded nearly 16,000 virus cases in government-held parts of the country, including 1,063 deaths.

The numbers are believed to be much higher with limited amounts of PCR tests being done, particularly in areas of northern Syria outside government control.

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Syria began a vaccination campaign last week amid rising numbers of infection cases, but no details have been given about the process, nor have local journalists been allowed to witness the rollout.

The health minister said the government procured the vaccines from a friendly country, which he declined to name.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.