BEIRUT — In an act of defiance, Syria’s union of doctors announced last month that 61 physicians had died of the coronavirus in the span of just a few days.

The disclosure contradicted the Syrian government, which had said a day earlier it had registered exactly 60 deaths in the entire country since March, and represented an uncharacteristic challenge to a state known for its tight control of information and severe intolerance for alternative views.

The tally released by the Syrian Medical Association signaled that the outbreak was already widespread, because reported cases among medical personnel often indicate a far larger number of unreported cases in the general public. One Syrian medical student called the number of doctors who have died “terrifying.”

The Washington Post

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