The women in Khayti's workshop are worried, she says. They ask a lot of questions and want tips on how to keep the children occupied indoors so they won't play outside and get infected. "We want to raise awareness, make people aware so they watch out as best they can with the little resources they have," Khayti says. She warns that too many people are still out and about in the city.

Hygiene articles for refugee camps in the area

With the support of Medico International, Khayti plans to distribute small bags containing soap, gloves and disinfectant products in the surrounding refugee camps – a drop in the ocean, but better than nothing. "We want to educate people," she says, adding that many still haven't given the issue much thought. "I don't know whether they will survive a COVID-19 infection," she says.

A permanent ceasefire would at least alleviate fears of again coming under bombardment, something which could reoccur any time. Syrian President Bashar Assad has already indicated that whatever it takes, he will continue to fight for the Idlib region.

Khayti knows this. "We are doing what we can with the resources we have to prepare the people," she says. Once the virus has officially reached Idlib, the people there will be at its mercy. At that point, they might have to yield to the situation and perhaps even close the Idlib women's centre, too, Khayti concedes.

Diana Hodali

© Deutsche Welle 2020

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