Lebanon has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of cases of Coronavirus in recent weeks that heralds a collapse of the health system, and public anger is exacerbated by the way the government deals with the crisis.
In a report published by the British “middleeasteye” website, writer Nada Othman says that a video clip recently circulated by the Lebanese on social media shows the critical health situation in the country due to the high number of people infected with the Coronavirus.
A report, broadcast by the Lebanese Al-Jadid channel, shows a number of patients receiving treatment in their private cars in front of the Al-Roum Hospital in Beirut, after they were unable to be treated inside.
“The hospital is completely full. We have had to do blood tests, x-rays and provide the patients with oxygen outside the hospital. At the moment, there are 10 people waiting to get a bed, but we can’t get them in,” says the hospital’s bacterial pathologist, Dr. Eid Azar.
“We are not prepared to deal with similar cases, but we should do our best because we do not have any other options,” he added.
On his Twitter account, Dr. Azar published photos of a number of patients receiving treatment outside the hospital, stressing that doctors are under severe pressure to deal with the increasing number of injuries.
According to the author, the video clip – which achieved more than 70,000 views during the past few days – increased awareness of the seriousness of the health situation in the country, and the need to stay at home.
Actions and criticisms
Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab confirmed that the country has entered a stage of extreme danger, announcing new closures and night curfews.
According to local media, new restrictions will be imposed on Thursday, as the Lebanese will only be allowed to leave their homes to bakeries and pharmacies, and after obtaining the necessary licenses. Also, major shops will be closed and will not be allowed to open their doors except for order delivery.
But many are skeptical about the effectiveness of the new decisions and closings – according to the author – and some have expressed their fear that the sudden closure of major supermarkets will lead to a collective push towards the purchase of materials and basic commodities.
Journalist Luna Safwan criticized the new government measures, and tweeted, “The government has finally made the decision to close and the total curfew, why did they not simply ban those parties and events that took place on New Year’s Eve two weeks ago? If the decision-making was so easy (it seems)) Why was it taken now, and not at that time?
Many social media users have criticized the government’s inaction in taking strict measures during the Christmas and New Year period, when it allowed celebrations to take place in public places, and accused it of prioritizing economic interests at the expense of people’s lives.