By Suleiman Al-Khalidi
AMMAN (Reuters) – The sprawling Najha cemetery outside Damascus, resting place for thousands of dead from Syria’s wars, is struggling to cope with a surge in victims from the country’s latest conflict – the largely unacknowledged battle with COVID-19.
Official data put the national death toll from the pandemic at 209, but throughout the summer burial notices were posted on city walls and social media almost daily as professional groups mourned lost doctors, academics, lawyers and politicians.
Najha cemetery, the designated site for COVID-19 victims in the Syrian capital, usually handles around 40 burials a day.
That number more than tripled during most of July and there was a spike in August, and the numbers remain well above average, said Abdul Rahim Badir, who issues burial certificates at Najha.
While there are no independent figures for the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Syria, Badir’s