Syria begins COVID-19 vaccinations with healthcare workers

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Syria's health minister Hassan Ghabash speaks during a news conference in Damascus

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria's health ministry said on Monday it had started administering COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline healthcare workers.

"For the second day in a row COVID-19 vaccinations are being given to frontline healthcare workers that are working within coronavirus isolation centres across governorates," a ministry statement said.

The statement did not make clear what type of vaccine Syria had acquired or the quantity.

Syria had said on Thursday it had received vaccinations from a "friendly country" that it did not name.

Health officials had said Syria was engaged with Russia and China on vaccines but no bilateral deals have been announced.

The health ministry detected a rise in infections recently, the statement said.

Syria had recorded 15,588 coronavirus cases with 1,027 deaths up to Sunday.

(Reporting by Kinda Makieh, writing by Maha El Dahan, editing by Ed Osmond)