Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and His Wife Test Positive for Coronavirus

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma cast their votes in the country’s presidential elections at a polling station in Damascus June 3, 2014, in this handout released by Syria’s national news agency SANA. Syrians voted in an election expected to deliver an overwhelming victory for al-Assad in the midst of a devastating civil war but which his opponents have dismissed as a charade. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife have tested positive for Covid-19, the Syrian presidency said in a statement Monday.

The president and his wife, Asma al-Assad, were tested for the coronavirus after they felt “mild symptoms,” according to the statement, which confirmed that the test came back positive.

“Both are in good health and in a stable condition, and they will continue to work during their home quarantine period that will last two or three weeks,” added the statement that was published on social media.

Assad joins a growing list of world leaders who have tested positive for the coronavirus, including French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former President Donald Trump.

The news comes the same month that the country marks 10 years of war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced half the population and decimated its economy.

Well over half of the Syrian population can’t afford a basic meal with the price of basic foods more than 200 percent higher than they were this time last year, according to the United Nations.

Assad has been in power since 2000 and his family has ruled Syria for half a century. Syria is due to hold presidential elections in May and it’s widely expected that Assad will win a fourth consecutive term in office.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Saphora Smith and Ammar Cheikh Omar