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Saturday, 13 June 2020

10-day-old Syrian baby flew to Israel for emergency heart surgery

A 10-day-old Syrian baby is flown from Cyprus to Israel for emergency surgery on June 11, 2020. (Sammy Revel/Twitter)

According to the Sheba Medical Center, a 10-day-old Syrian boy was brought from Israel from Cyprus on Thursday morning to perform an emergency procedure to correct a congenital heart defect. 

The infant received surgery and was transferred to the emergency department, on a respirator, later that day, spokesman for the hospital Ramat Gan told The Times of Israel. According to her spokesperson, Sheba - often counted among one of the best hospitals in the world - received such an emergency from abroad since the outbreak of a coronavirus pandemic. 

Such situations were widespread before the outbreak and affected not only Israel's allies, but also countries with which the government in Jerusalem has no diplomatic links, such as Syria and Iraq.

A spokesman said the child's father would remain in the hospital until doctors said the child was able to travel, which would probably take several weeks. The Israeli ambassador to Cyprus, Sammy Revel, said that the effort to bring the boy to Sheba requires "special approval" from Jerusalem and coordination by the Ministry of Health of Cyprus. In 2013-2018, Israel maintained a program along the Syrian border, enabling residents of the area who were hit by the civil war in the country to enter Israel for treatment. This effort formally ended in the summer of 2018, when Syrian dictator Bashar Assad took control of southern Syria. 

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