Syrian President stops speaking and sits down as blood pressure drops

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Syrian President Bashar Assad interrupted a speech he was giving in parliament because he needed to “sit for a minute” after suffering a brief drop in blood pressure.

Assad, 54, had half an hour of speech when he started to look tired and interrupted his speech twice to take a sip of water from a glass in front of him.

He was talking about the US sanctions against Syria and the economic crisis in this war-torn country when he told his audience, “My blood pressure has dropped and I need to drink water.

Soon after, he said, “I have to sit down for a minute if you don’t mind” before leaving the room.

Assad spoke from a podium to members of parliament wearing masks and social distancing, seated at least six feet apart in a huge hall

Assad, 54, had half an hour to speak when he started to look tired and twice interrupted his speech to take a sip of water from a glass in front of him.

It was not clear how long he was away, but upon his return Assad, a trained ophthalmologist, joked that “doctors are the worst patients.” He was greeted with applause from lawmakers before him.

“I haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon. I have no sugar or salt and it happens, ”he added.

Assad spoke from a rostrum to members of parliament wearing masks and social distancing, seated at least six feet apart in a huge hall.

Syria has recently seen an increasing number of coronavirus infections, although the overall reported number remains low with 1,327 confirmed cases and 53 deaths.

Limited testing facilities and the Syrian government’s scrutiny of pandemic statistics have raised concerns that the actual number of cases is much higher than reported.

Syria has recently seen a growing number of coronavirus infections, although the overall reported number remains low with 1,327 confirmed cases and 53 deaths

Syria has recently seen a growing number of coronavirus infections, although the overall reported number remains low with 1,327 confirmed cases and 53 deaths

Previously, the office of the presidency said the speech was interrupted for `` several minutes '' due to a `` mild '' case of hypotension the president suffered, after which he continued the speech normally .

Earlier, the presidential office said the speech was interrupted for “several minutes” due to a “mild” case of hypotension the president suffered, after which he continued the speech normally.

Previously, the office of the presidency said that the speech was interrupted for “several minutes” due to a “mild” case of hypotension from which the president suffered, after which he continued the speech normally.

The presidency’s Facebook page said the speech would be released later Wednesday. He did not provide further details. Assad, 54, is not known to have a particular health problem.

Assad delivered the speech Wednesday on the occasion of the first parliamentary session after last month’s elections. The vote was the third to take place in Syria since the country’s conflict began in 2011.

The elections also coincided with Syria’s worst economic crisis and a currency crash, which pushed more of the country’s population into poverty.

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