In this study, Dr. Kassem with Dr. Jaafar discussed the impacts of poor water quality on the possible proliferation of COVID-19 in Syrian Refugee camps and the hosting communities. They provided an in-depth analysis of the implications of water contamination and poor sanitation on the vulnerability of disenfranchised populations to COVID-19 in Lebanon and beyond. They also argued that the exposure of refugees to multidrug-resistant pathogens in water might reduce the immunity of this population and increase their susceptibility to COVID-19. They stress that an outbreak in the camps would have dire consequences within and outside the camps. Therefore, they called upon stakeholders to provide help and testing for the refuges and to address the issue of water pollution inside the camps as well as the impact of the camps' wastewater on the surrounding water resources.
Their recommendations apply to refugee camps in other countries.
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Dr. Kassem was featured in the AUB-Annahar's COVID-19 studio, he discussed the safety of beaches and swimming pools during the COVID-19 pandemic: watch here.