“After experiencing mild symptoms that resemble… Covid-19, President al-Assad and first lady Asma Al-Assad took a PCR test, and the result showed that they are infected with the virus,” the presidency said in a statement.
“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.