Special programme: Turkey becomes biggest Covid-19 hotspot in Middle East


This week, Middle East Matters takes you to Istanbul, where most of Turkey's coronavirus cases are located. The country has now surpassed Iran with the highest number of patients in the region, but even several weeks into the epidemic, the official death count remains low.  Our correspondents Shona Bhattacharyya and Ludovic de Foucaud spoke to the head of Istanbul's Medical Chamber to find out why. 


We also head to Israel, where the ultra-Orthodox community is the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Its members are also among the least likely to adhere to the strict social distancing measures introduced by the Israeli government. The health minister is a member of the ultra-Orthodox community, and he himself has tested positive for the virus. Our correspondents Cécile Galluccio, Antoine Mariotti and Irris Makler report.

Finally, the spread of the coronavirus is especially worrisome in Syria. After years of war, the country's health infrastructure has been all but destroyed, and millions live in camps with no access to water, soap or housing conditions that can allow them to practice social distancing. The Rojava Information Center told us what conditions are like in the north-east of the country, where a Turkish military operation took place last October. 

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