Fears over hidden Covid-19 outbreak in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria

Number of cases may far exceed official figures amid claims of quarantining by non-state actors

Health and other officials focused on Lebanon, Iraq and Syria fear the numbers of people infected with coronavirus far exceed the official figures disclosed by all three governments, and claim non-state actors are quarantining entire communities of patients in areas outside state control.

Officials, including bureaucrats, aid workers and international observers, who spoke with the Guardian over the past week say parts of Lebanon and Iraq in particular are likely to be holding thousands more infected people, and that a lack of disclosure poses a serious health risk over the next three months.

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